Niseko and YongPyong maintain their perfect record, Asia picks up 3 awards in the World category.
Niseko United (Japan) and YongPyong (South Korea) have extended their reign of dominance at the World Ski Awards, with both taking home the 2016 prize for the best ski resort in their respective countries. The two resorts have taken the top accolade since the inaugural year of the awards in 2013.
An astonishing result in the China category, which featured in the World Ski Awards or the first time, saw newcomer Thaiwoo Ski Resort take out established resorts Beidahu, Changbaishan and Yabuli to claim its place as the best ski resort in China. Thaiwoo opened to the public for the 2015/16 ski season and has been designated as a venue for the nordic events at the Beijing 2022 Olympics.
In the World category – where resorts and local organisations pit themselves against the best of the business in North America, Europe, Oceania and Asia – Japan had three impressive wins. The Vale Niseko claimed World’s Best Ski Boutique Hotel for the third year running, while The Westin Rusutsu Resort was recognised as the World’s Best New Ski Hotel.
In a major ski industry coup, Hokkaido Backcountry Club (Japan) was awarded World’s Best Heli-Ski Operator after just their second year in operation. The outfit, which is one of Japan’s only recognised heli-skiing operations, beat the odds against some of Canada’s oldest and best, including Whistler Helisking and Selkirk Tangiers Helicopter Skiing.
With only Switzerland taking out more awards (4) than Japan (3) in the World category, it is a sign that Asia is truly making its mark on the industry. And with major upgrades and new hotels scheduled for resorts across Japan over the next few years, and preparations in Korea and China rolling ahead for the Olympics in 2018 and 2022, there’s little doubt that this will change any time soon.
2016 World Ski Awards Results (Asia)
World’s Best New Ski Hotel: The Westin Rusutsu Resort (Japan)
World’s Best Ski Boutique Hotel: The Vale Niseko (Japan)
World’s Best Heli-Ski Operator: Hokkaido Backcountry Club (Japan)
Japan’s Best Ski Resort: Niseko United
Japan’s Best Ski Hotel: Hilton Niseko Village
Japan’s Best Ski Boutique Hotel: The Vale Niseko
Japan’s Best Ski Chalet: Sekka Kan
South Korea’s Best Ski Resort: Yongpyong Resort
South Korea’s Best Ski Hotel: Hotel Tirol
China’s Best Ski Resort: Thaiwoo Ski Resort