Whistler ranked No. 1 in the world

UK skiers name resort top choice globally

Skiers in the United Kingdom prefer Whistler over any other winter resort destination in the world.

Those are the results of a recently released marketing analysis by UK company Spike Marketing, which surveyed 18,000 skiers in that country.

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Whistler ranked number one for destinations followed by Banff, Vail, Breckenridge and Tignes, France.

Tourism Whistler's vice president, marketing strategy Louise Walker said while the entire report is not available yet for review the ranking is good news.

"It is great for us to know where we are positioned," Walker said, adding the destination marketing organization has internal surveys on measuring the resort's performance. "Obviously when you get results like this looking at competitors it is good for us to know."

The UK survey uses the net promoter score, which is based on the concept that visitors can be divided into three categories: promoters, passives and detractors. Walker explained they are categorized in those three groups by asking one simple question: how likely are you to recommend the destination to friends and family?

Using a zero to 10 point scale, the net score is calculated using the percentage of those who respond between zero and six, called detractors, from those who respond with a nine or a 10, called promoters. In the tourism industry it accepted that the higher the net promoter score, the higher the likelihood the brand will experience growth.

In order to calculate the NPS, the percentage of customers who are detractors are subtracted from the percentage of customers who are promoters. The higher the net promoter score, the higher the likelihood the brand will experience growth.

"We have done quite a lot of research into the net promoter score," Walker said. "It is something that we monitor from this side, as well we know the more satisfied people are, the more likely they are to recommend the resort.

"Word of mouth is one of the biggest promotional tools that we now have and with Facebook and people on social media, it is absolutely essential that we have a good net promoter score."

She pointed to Whistler's combination of top class skiing, reliable snow, vibrant Village, range of activities off the mountain, amazing customer service and wonderful Canadian hospitality as reasons for the high scores that sets the resort apart from its competitors.

Senior vice president, marketing and sales Stuart Rempel with Whistler Blackcomb said the news of the ranking is flattering, although the company is also waiting to see the full report for data analysis.

"We pride ourselves on how we position and present our products in the UK market," Rempel said, adding the competition within the rankings is steep. "Banff is also Canadian, so that is something to be proud of as another iconic Canadian resort."

In particular, he said consistent and reliable snowfall is something Whistler Blackcomb can boast of as a ski hill that sets it apart.

"Our reliable and consistent snowfall is certainly what sets us apart from other destinations," he said.

Added onto that 10 year average of 1,200 centimeres of snowfall is the terrain, grooming, infrastructure and family-friendly activities.

"British customers really love coming to Whistler because of our family programs that will be a big effort that will be noticeable on the mountain this year," Rempel said.

The company released its season pass early bird prices this week, along with a new campaign to identify iconic places and routes on the two mountains called Wonder Routes.

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