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Saturday, 11 October 2014

NO LONGER NO 1: The French Ski Market

"France loses its No 1 spot as the world's top country for skiing" says the new press release from resort association Domaines skiable de France.

The release goes on: "...a place it would have kept had it not been for the new school holiday calendar".

The "reforms" to the French school holiday calendar have left the ski resorts foaming at the mouth.  Easter holidays now don't start until mid April at the earliest.

The result: business is down by 70% at this time of the year, and it now makes up just 2-3% of the season's business, compared with 8% before 2010.

Looking at 2013/14 specifically, skier days are down 4.5%. and away from the lifts, resort takings are down 2.3%.  The Vosges and Jura had a complete nightmare.

Also in the firing line are increases to VAT and dodgy weather during January and February.  The general decline in the number of French people going on holiday completes the gloomy picture.

The best the resort association seems to be able to come up with is that last season is broadly in line with the average for the previous four seasons (2012/13 having been better than normal).

The French border above La Rosiere
Their new report  includes loads of fine statistics.  For example:

  • The US now records 56.2m skier days (-1.2%)
  • France has 55.3m (-4.5)
  • Austria 50.8 (-6.3)


  • For every €1 spent on lift passes, 6€ are spent elsewhere in the resort 
  • There are 120,000 seasonal jobs in France - 90,000 of which are in the Northern French Alps
  • 68.1% of skiers are French; 11.6% are Brits
  • French ski passes are apparently 11% cheaper than those in Austria and 17% cheaper than the Swiss.  (Not too convinced by this one!)

For the full stats fest, click here.

Seasonal workers at Les Arcs

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