Boulder, CO, Nov. 4--According to a report in Montagne's Lettre Economique, the French Federation of Sport and Recreation Industries has found that there are approximately 70 million downhillers on the planet. Of that number, 77 percent are alpine skiers, 16 percent are snowboarders and 8 percent are cross-country skiers.
The report also found that of all the winter equipment sold worldwide, 42 percent is in alpine European countries, 26 percent in North America, 23 percent in Asia, 8 percent in non-alpine European countries and 1 percent other.
The French Federation concluded that the stagnate growth of skiing has been a result of young people's tendency to pick up snowboarding over skiing, but they see a bright future for all with the advent of snow toys.
In another international report conducted by Snow Hunter Company, it was determined that there may be as many as 6,000 ski areas in the world. The Snow Hunter database contains information on 5,000 areas in 70 countries and the company guesses that there may be an additional 500 to 1,000 areas with one or two surface lifts.
Of the 5,000 recorded ski areas, Europe leads the pack with 3,768 of the total. Second place goes to North America with 730 areas and third place to Asia with 411 resorts. The remaining ski centers are divided up between Africa (9), Antarctica (3), Australasia (40) and South America (32).