20 November 2013 by Alex Stewart
Voters at the World Ski Awards adjudge France's Val Thorens to be the best.
Ski professionals, ski tour operators and travel agents came together in Kitzbühel, Austria's legendary winter sports Mecca, to announce the results of the World Ski Awards.
Votes were cast online at the World Ski Awards wbsite by professionals working within the ski industry - senior executives, travel buyers, tour operators, agents and media - and by the public (ski tourism consumers).
Once votes were collected and counted it was announced that high altitude resort Val Thorens, in the French Alps, had beaten off stiff competition to be named as the best ski resort in the world.
Val Thorens, Europe's highest resort at the top of the Three Valleys, boasts two peaks over 3,000m and the permanent Péclet Glacier to tackle, meaning that the ski season starts early here and lasts longer. The resort also opens onto the world's largest ski area, with 600 kilometres of equipped slopes, 320 signposted runs and more than 170 ski lifts. Whilst the actual resort is functional rather than picture-postcard-pretty, it has a large range of lively après-ski options and includes a number of gourmet eating choices.
Elsewhere, host venue Kitzbühel was awarded best ski resort in Austria, Cortina was awarded best ski resort in Italy and LAAX triumphed in Switzerland.
In North America, Lake Louise was named best ski resort in Canada and Deer Valley emerged as the best ski resort in the USA.
In other awards, Bighorn, Revelstoke in Canada took World's best ski chalet, Aurelio Lech in Austria won World's best ski boutique hotel and the Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch in the USA secured World's best ski hotel.
Sion Rapson, managing director of the World Ski Awards, commented that, 'Hundreds of thousands of travel professionals and skiers across the globe have voted for their favourite resorts, chalets and hotels. [The] winners can take enormous pride - they have been voted the finest in class.'