La Plagne, a ski resort nestled Tarentaise Valley in the French Alps, and lies at altitudes between 4,100ft (1,250m) and 10,660ft (3, 250m), has been named the world’s favourite ski resort by an annual winter sports industry report.
The 2014 International Report on Snow and Mountain Tourism compiles huge amounts of data from resorts around the world each year and uses it to examine the winter sports tourism industry and predict future trends.
While most might assume that reports like Apsen in Colorado, Whistler in British Colombia, Val Thorens or Zermatt in Switzerland might claim the title as most popular ski resort, La Plagne has surprised many industry experts.
Consisting of clusters of villages, 11 in total, La Plagne varies widely in character, with different types of chalet and village spreading themselves over the French mountain face, and boasts varied snow-sure slopes which offer great runs for both intermediate, advanced and beginner skiiers, an abundance of cabins with varied altitude levels, and a cable car link to Les Arcs, a close neighbour in the sprawling French group of Paradiski resorts. The fact that the height of the slopes exceed 3,000m is great for skiiers as it ensures snow almost all year round.
The Alps dominates the ski tourism industry, with Europe’s famous slopes attracting a huge section of the market each year, 45% in total.In comparison, North American resorts attract a mere 21% of the worldwide annual skiier visits.
The report also shows how the skiing market is developing and evolving, with Japan’s ski resorts in a popularity slump at the moment, and a burgeoning market developing in China and South Korea. Greece are also entering the market with their own ski slopes, and similarly so is Uzbekistan, allowing fanatic winter sports tourists to hit the slopes all year round as opposed to the single season of snow available in Europe.