What’s the best: Banff or Whistler?

Banff/Lake Louise is the best ski resort in the world, according to a poll of 25,000 readers of the prestigious London Telegraph, one of the most respected English-language newspapers in Europe. But the Americans have a different opinion, naturally.

The Telegraph Travel Awards were established two years ago and have quickly become a recognized force in the UK. An outside independent consulting firm oversees the awards to insure accuracy and strictly monitors the special questionnaire issued to readers.

Banff/Lake Louise has extra amenities that attract the British ski crowd, since it is surrounded by protected alpine wilderness and offers a broad range of nature, history and heritage programs that set it apart from other resorts in Europe and North America. Ski resorts in Banff National Park are popular with the British, who now represent approximately 10-15 per cent of their total skier visits, or about 25,000 skiers per year.

Not everyone agrees with the Telegraph crowd. The readers of Ski magazine selected B.C.’s Whistler Blackcomb as the number one ski resort in the world, followed by nine American resorts. Banff didn’t make that list, but nevertheless, we Canadiansan take pride in the stature of our ski resorts. And note, with some amusement, that there wasn’t a single British ski resort on any list, anywhere.