Did you know that Norway holds the most Winter Olympic medals? Or, that the most watched event in South Korea is Figure Skating? Leading ski tour operator, Crystal Ski Holidays, has conducted its winter sports popularity analysis to reveal which nations are the most obsessed with winter sports and reveal the most unlikely nations who love the slopes.
Surprising Ski Enthusiasts
The United Kingdom – The United Kingdom only has ten ski areas with snow to cater for all 6.3 million skiers in the country (who usually head abroad to get their fix) – which could be a tight squeeze on the slopes if they all stayed closer to home. The UK also takes the top spot of the country with the most amount of skiers per skiing area; a grand total of 634,000.
Belgium – Belgium is the second most surprising ski nation, as they have 179,000 skiers for every ski area in the country, and from the research, it seems Belgians also like to watch Curling events the most during the games.
China – With 62 Winter Olympic medals behind them, China has the highest number of ski areas within their country out of all other nations, with 703 areas in total for their 12,880,000 yearly skiing visitors. As the hosts for the 2022 Winter Olympics, the country has seen a surge in the number of people taking an interest in winter sports.
Japan – Japan follows closely behind with 547 ski areas and 58 Winter Olympic medals, but have almost 2.5 times more visitors heading for the mountains, around 32,141,000 ski visitors.
Top Destinations for Ski Travel
The United States – The United States sees the highest amount of yearly skiing visitors from in and out of the country, with a mind-boggling 54,905,000 people trekking to the resorts to experience the snowy slopes – that’s one million fewer people than the whole population of South Africa.
France – Taking the second spot with 54,012,000 foreign and domestic visits to ski resorts every year to make the most of the world-famous slopes including Chamonix, Morzine, and Tignes.
Austria – Austria rounds up the top three countries with the most yearly skiing visitors, with 51,722,000 individuals venturing to the resorts annually. Austria also has the highest skier to tourist ratio out of all countries, with an average of 35%, meaning for every 100 tourists to visit Austria, 35 of them are visiting to ski.
Prefer your slopes to be emptier with more space to roam? Head to Russia, where you’ll only have to share one of the 354 ski areas with 19,068 others.
To view the full research on winter sports popularity click here.