Niseko has been listed for the first time as one of the world’s top 10 ski resorts this season by the UK’s Association of Independent Tour Operators. British Columbia’s darling Whistler topped the list for the second year running, followed by Vaujany in France and Vale in Colorado.
Meanwhile Niseko was the best performing of this year’s rookies, jumping straight to number 6. The other newbies, Zakopane in Poland and Riksgransen in Sweden took up the eighth and ninth spots. And what did the AITO have to say about Niseko? “With an average of 14 metres of snowfall through the winter, Niseko is known for its abundance of high quality powder, and is fast becoming a destination for skiers and boarders looking for that something extra. While the old reliables such as Austria, Canada and France will always prove popular, there are up-and-coming destinations that intrepid skiers want to visit and cross off their list.”
So what has Whistler got that Niseko could improve on? “Not only is it North America’s largest resort, it had a whopping 46ft (15m) of snow last winter. In addition to masses of runs and plenty of off-piste and snowboarding, it has lively nightlife and great hotels and apartments.”