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22 November 2013 09:30
Kitzbuhel in Austria hosted the inaugural World Ski Awards
The cream of the world's ski resorts have been honoured by the winter sport travel industry's equivalent of the Oscars.
Staged at Kitzbuhel in Austria, the first ever World Ski Awards named Val Thorens in France as the best ski resort on Earth.
Within easy reach of British skiers, who can protect themselves with
winter sports travel insurance from World First Travel Insurance, it was also voted France's best ski resort, - having already won the award for the Most Improved European Resort at the Snow World Awards in London earlier this month.
Meanwhile, skiing enthusiasts willing to head a bit further afield can stay at the Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch in Beaver Creek, USA, which scooped the World's Best Ski Hotel award.
Almost 200 ski resorts from 20 different countries around the world were competing for the awards with the event's host, Kitzbuhel, taking the award for Austria's best resort and the town's A-ROSA Hotel being named the country's best for skiers.
The host resort even took a third gong; Dr Josef Burger, the chief executive of the Bergbahn AG Kitzbuhel firm, received a special honour for his Outstanding Services to Ski Tourism.
The best resorts in the US, Sweden, Bulgaria, Germany and Japan were named as Deer Valley in Utah, Åre, Bansko, Garmisch and Niseko respectively.
Meanwhile, Krasnaya Polyana - a venue for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics - took the award for Russia's best ski resort.
The new awards have been launched to give standards within the ski industry a lift by rewarding the best resorts, ski providers and organisations in their field.
Speaking at the event in Kitzbuhel, Sion Rapson, managing director of the World Ski Awards, said: "The reaction to our inaugural event has been phenomenal. Tonight's winners can take enormous pride - they have been voted the finest in class."
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