France glided past the United States last winter to emerge as the world's top ski destination despite a 2.7 percent drop in visitors to its stations, according to industry body DSF.
Domaines Skiables de France (DSF) said it had registered some 53.9 million individual days of skiing on the slopes, a 2.7 percent drop from the year before.
That was partly due to the fact that many ski stations opened up later than usual due to the lack of snow last December.
However this still placed France slightly ahead of the United States which also suffered a drop in visitors of some 5.2 percent with 53.6 million days on the slopes.
“There's hardly any difference between us,” the DSF's Laurent Reynaud said of the results.
“But we are still happy because the season was challenging, we had a difficult start in terms of snow, and a strong drop (in visitors) over the spring holidays at the end,” he said.
It is only the fourth time that France has won the crown of top skiing destination, traditionally held by the United States.
France last held the title back in 2013 and the secret to its success has been put down to a combination of affordability and having the biggest and best resorts.
“The main reason is the price of the ski passes in France, which remain the cheapest in the world in relation to the size of the resorts,” DSF's Reynaud told The Local previously.
“Skiing is still a sport for the most wealthy but we still have many families and students who,despite the expense, come skiing in France because we have catered to them,” Reynaud said.
“The second reason is the size of our resorts and the fact that unlike in other countries many of them are connected, which means skiers do not have to take transport between the various ski lifts.”