We recently came across an excellent research document – ‘Bilan de la saison des domaines skiables suisses – Hiver 2012/13‘ .

It was created by Laurent Vanat, who was also responsible for the ‘2013 International Report on Snow & Mountain Tourism‘.

Most visited Swiss ski resorts

The report is packed full of data.  This graph was interesting.  I suppose we could have guessed that Zermatt was the Swiss ski resort with the most skier days, but it was a surprise to see Verbier in 5th place.

swiss ski resorts


Swiss lift passes most expensive in Europe

What was most interesting was his comparison of lift pass prices between countries.  This table shows the average, lowest and highest lift pass prices for Swiss, Austria, Italian and French resorts.

Again, it’s not a massive surprise to see that Switzerland comes out the most expensive, but what does shock is differential.  The average Swiss lift pass price is around 26% more expensive than its near competitors.

comparison lift passes

The report goes on to show that this differential did not exist at all until 2008/09 (prior to which French passes had been the most expensive).  Although the gap has narrowed slightly in the last year, the last three years have seen Switzerland price themselves at the top of the market.

The Chinese are coming (followed by the Russians)

Regarding international markets, Chinese visitors increased 23% last season and Russian visitors by 12%.  Between them they deliver more visitors than Britain.   If that rate of growth continues, there will be more Chinese visiting Switzerland in the winter than Brits by 2015.

There is plenty more great data in the report and I encourage you to read it in its entirety.

By Iain Martin