International Report on Snow & Mountain Tourism

The 2018 International Report on Snow & Mountain Tourism is a worldwide acknowledged reference for data about ski resorts tourism. This 10th issue cover all the countries in the world offering equiped ski areas.

Introduction to the 2018 issue :

It is a pleasure to notice that after 3 years of stagnation or decrease, the total figure of skier visits worldwide is now showing a trend upwards again (see figure 2). In contrast to many pessimistic reports in the media, would this mean that the ski industry is now heading towards a safer horizon?

It is much too early to rely on this upside to claim for victory. Most markets still show a very mature profile and basic issues of the industry remain: the demographic, with the retreat of baby-boomers and the low renewal of customer base. Worldwide competition in holiday and leisure activities and the improvement of retention rates and updated ski learning solutions remain challenges.

It thus remains time to be vigilant and awaken and maybe to act on a different scale than that used until then. All western markets are now arriving to the point when they begin to seriously realise that although their population has been increasing, the skier visits did not. In fact, the problem is not limited only to destination countries. The problem has spread to the European outbound countries that feed these destinations. It is the global Western skier market that is flattening, although this is not reflected in the number of skiers worldwide, which is growing thanks to developing markets such as China. However, in these developing markets, the ski consumption per skier is still much lower than it used to be on traditional markets, resulting in an overall rather stagnant skier-visits number.

The last years showed indeed some changes. Western markets have now entered into some disruptive business models as far as season passes are concerned. In North America, big consolidation manoeuvres happened. In the Alps, it is the number of very large interconnected ski resorts that has been on the rise thanks to intensive lift constructions in Austria. And of course, the market is booming in China, where 57 new ski areas mushroomed in 2017.

Future years promise to be exciting for the global ski market!

Coverage: There are currently 67 countries in the world that offer equipped outdoor ski areas covered with snow. Taking into account indoor facilities , mountaineering-only areas and other types of facilities such as dry slopes, the figure can be as high as 100 . Even if snow fields are much more numerous, about 2’000 ski resorts have been identified worldwide. Besides the major ski destinations in terms of skier visits, there are a number of other, smaller destinations, where skiing has been an industry for a long time, or is currently developing. The most obvious new destinations are Eastern Europe and China, but there are a number of other small players spread out across the globe: Algeria, Cyprus, Greece, India, Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Lesotho, Morocco, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Turkey and many more.


Statement of experience to download (pdf file 2.3 Mo)