PHOTO: Skiing in Aspen, Colo. (Photo courtesy Thinkstock)
The U.S. is the top ski destination for 2016 reports Travel + Leisure, noting that poor snowfall in France gave the U.S. an advantage.
“The two countries have long competed for the coveted spot, frequently alternating each year. France saw 52 million “skier days” and the U.S. recorded 53.9 million in the past season, according to statistics from French ski industry authority Domaines Skiables de France (DFS),” writes Jess McHugh.
It’s not all bad news for the French, however. The country is still number one in Europe.
“The December situation was pretty much critical to most parts of the Alps not receiving real snowfall before the first days of January in low and mid altitudes, this would include many Christmas and New Year travelers,” Ingo Lemmer, European senior managing editor for Mountain News, told Travel + Leisure by email. “I don’t see any safety issues specifically limiting visitation in French resorts.”
And, a predicted increase in U.S. visitors to France during the coming ski season is another reason not to be too upset over the loss.
In addition to a favorable exchange rate, cultural factors also play a role.
“There’s a real draw to Europe,” Dan Sherman, vice president of marketing for Ski.com, told T + L. “I don’t think snow is really a factor. I think people are going to Europe for the skiing, but also for the culture, the food and the full experience.”
Want to learn more about the Alpine ski experience? Read on here.