The five Highland Scottish ski areas reported their best season for five winters in 17-18 with 249,848 skier and boarder visits recorded, more than four times the 53,669 total the previous winter, which had been the worst this century with little snow cover.
The figures were also the fourth best of the past 15 seasons with the best season 2009-10 with 374,582 skiers and boarders, then 290,996 in 2012-13 and 289,575 in 2010-11.
There were some interesting variations between the five centres according to official data analysis from the SaveTheCiste group (below) which is campaigning to re-instate lift-served skiing at the Ciste area of Cairngorn, where lifts were dismantled last year after having been unused and apparently unmaintained by the centre’s current operators and the land owner for several years.
SaveTheCiste identified Cairngorm’s market share, although still the largest of the five centres, has dropped by nearly a quarter from 40.6% for the 10 year average up to winter 2012-13 to 32.3% over the past five seasons.
Going against the wider Scottish trend, Cairngorm’s skier visitor numbers were also its second worse of the last 10 seasons last winter, with only the 16-17 season when there was little snowfall, worse.
Last season, for only the second time in the past 15 years, it was not the most visited ski area either, losing out to Glenshee which saw 76,367 visits compared to Cairngorm’s 59,003.