We’ve taken a trawl through the excellent International Report on Snow & Mountain Tourism by industry expert Laurent Vanat to find some of the most fascinating ski stats about the snowsports industry.

The report is available to download (in English and Chinese) for free here. All graphs were created by M Vanat and are contained within the report.

Worldwide Snow Stats

• There were approximately 400 million skier visits worldwide in 2017
• The industry currently offers about 6 million commercial beds in the mountains
• There are 67 countries offering ski ‘resorts’, with another 18 countries offering the chance to ski on snow (i.e. they have snow, but no resorts)
• There are around 2000 ski resorts worldwide
• 20% of ski resorts account for 80% of all skier visits
• There are about 80 indoor snow centres operating in 20 countries around the world
• 80% of the ‘major’ (i.e. over 1 million visits each winter) ski resorts in the world are in the Alps
• The Alps are the biggest ski destination in the world, capturing 43% of skier visits

China Ski Stats

• The snowsports market is booming in China, where 57 new ski areas went live in 2017
• China has the most indoor ski centres (21)
• The largest (total area) indoor snow centre is the Harbin Wanda Snow Park in China
• 57 new ski areas opened in China in 2017, bringing the total to 703 ski areas

China is one of the few countries with a growing market

France Ski Stats

• The longest (slope length) of slope length is the Amneville Snow Hall in France
• UK skiers travelling to France is the second biggest overseas market after Germans travelling to Austria
• 2 million foreign skiers visit France each winter: the British represent one quarter of these, followed by the Italians, Belgians, Germans and Russians.
• Russians accounted for 7%- 9% of overnight stays in French hotels, before the Ukrainian crisis. Sanctions since then have significantly reduced this figures.
• With 51 million skier visits, 2.0% down from previous season, winter 2016/17 was the fourth consecutive season showing a decrease in visits to French ski resorts
• Only 13% of French people participate in skiing and snowboarding
• France the most popular country among British skiers, accounting for more than one third of travellers. Austria is ranked second, with 25%, followed by Italy with 14%. Andorra (6%), Switzerland (6%), North America (5%) and Bulgaria (4%) make up the remainder.

North America Ski Stats

• The second biggest global destination is America, accounting for 21% of skier visits
• Overseas skiers represented only 3.8% of total skier visits to US ski resorts in 2012/13

Austria Ski Stats

• Austria has the capacity to cover 60% of the slopes with artificial snow
• A yearly average of €130 million has been invested on snowmaking in Austria since 2008
• Austrian resorts have invested more than €7 billion on new lift infrastructure since 2000
• Austrians have the highest participation rates within their own country at 36% enjoying skiing and snowboarding
• Overseas customers represent 66% of all skier visits to Austria

Italy Ski Stat

• From 2002 up to 2009, 20% of the lifts in Italy were removed and a further 20% upgraded

Switzerland Ski Stat

• In Switzerland 21.2 million skier visits were recorded for the 2016/17 winter season, a 1.9% decline from the prior year and 10.2% below the five-year average

Scotland Ski Stat

• Scottish resorts have an annual average of 200,000 skier visits



International Report on Snow & Mountain Tourism by industry expert Laurent Vanat is available to download here.