Top 10 French ski resorts on Instagram

As the snow melts on the winter season, here in Les Contamines, the cows have taken over from the pistebashers the job of maintaining the domain. Time for an inter-season break, and that goes for this blog too and its ranking of the top French ski resorts on Facebook and Twitter.

Instead, for a change, here’s a glimpse of the top 10 on Instagram (on 1 June)…

  1. La Plagne – 8061 followers
  2. Val Thorens – 6869
  3. Chamonix – 5541
  4. Val d’Isère – 5387
  5. Avoriaz – 4845
  6. Serre Chevalier – 4650
  7. Les 2 Alpes – 4636
  8. Les Arcs – 4602
  9. Vars – 4407
  10. Alpe d’Huez – 4149

…quite possibly I’ve missed someone out, in which case, please do let me know. When you get back from the beach. 🙂

And now, back to the cows…

Coucou ! 😄😄😄 #tarine #vache #Savoie #laPlagne

A post shared by La Plagne (@la_plagne) on

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Top 30 French ski resorts on Twitter this season

Not only did this season see a French ski resort become the first in Europe to reach 200,000 likes on Facebook, it also saw the first reach 20,000 followers on Twitter: Alpe d’Huez.

Now I know it’s all about the quality not the quantity of the social media engagement, but still… In the case of Alpe d’Huez, which has grown its followers 197% this season (1 Dec-1 May), it does at least partly have to do with its success in playing to its reputation as both a winter and a summer destination and not a little with the fact that it will be a Tour De France finish yet again in 2015.

This was its most RT’d tweet in April:

Other resorts reaching milestones this season were Val Thorens and Val d’Isère which both broke through 10,000.

Who grew their followers the most? 

It was not, in fact, Alpe d’Huez that grew its followers the fastest this winter season among the top 30 French resorts on Twitter. These were the top three:

  1. Courchevel (+260%)
  2. Val d’Isère (+200%)
  3. Alpe d’Huez (+197%)

Tweeting into spring

Finishing strongest in April was Val d’Isère (+11%), followed by Tignes (+5%), even though the latter tweeted barely more than a dozen times over the month.

Overall, the top 30 French ski resorts on Twitter averaged just 2% follower growth in April, down from over 6% in March, and also lower than this time last year (3.1%).

Season average growth was 62% (1 Dec-1 May), compared to 66% last season.

Here is the ranking in full, as compiled on the 1st of May 2015:

Top 3 French ski domains on Twitter:

  1. Les 3 Vallées – 6,315 followers
  2. Nouvelles Pyrénées – 4,067
  3. Portes du Soleil – 4,041

Top 30 French ski resorts on Twitter:

  1. Alpe d’Huez – 21,232 followers
  2. Val Thorens – 13,425
  3. Val d’Isère – 11,883
  4. Megève – 8,602
  5. Chamonix – 8,107
  6. La Plagne – 6,556
  7. Les Arcs (fr) – 4,802
  8. Morzine (en) – 4,403
  9. Les Gets – 3,870
  10. Méribel – 3,488
  11. Les Menuires – 3,355
  12. La Clusaz  – 3,204
  13. Avoriaz (fr) – 3,190
  14. Avoriaz (en) – 3,083
  15. Serre Chevalier (fr) – 2,969
  16. Morzine (fr) – 2,968
  17. Tignes – 2,914
  18. Le Grand Bornand – 2,896
  19. Vars – 2,797
  20. Les 2 Alpes – 2,571
  21. Serre Chevalier (en) – 2,477
  22. Ax3Domaines – 2,335
  23. Peyragudes – 2,133
  24. Courchevel – 2,008
  25. Cauterets – 1,984
  26. Pic du Midi – 1,970
  27. Les Contamines – 1,912
  28. La Tania – 1,893
  29. Piau – 1,838
  30. Montgenèvre – 1,773

Please note: these numbers were polled on the 1st of May 2015. Sorry if I’ve missed anyone and please do let me know so this list can be improved for next month. Official resort accounts only and linked resorts/domains are ranked separately.

Top French ski resorts on Facebook this season

Tignes, Val Thorens and Orelle are soldiering for another week and the Pic du Midi is still open too, but it’s raining at over 2,000m as I write this and most resorts are gearing up for summer already. Time to round up how the winter season went on social media for the top 50 French ski resorts on Facebook.

Winners and losers

So who posted the biggest gains in terms of fan growth this season among the top 50?

Saint Gervais (+156%) after it cleaned up its social media presence and merged the tourist office and lift company pages. Second was Valloire (+69%) which benefited from the JB effect after local hero Jean-Baptiste Grange was crowned slalom World Champion for the second time in a row. And third: Ax 3 Domaines, which hit the 30,000 fans milestone in March. Among the domains, the Grand Massif made good progress (+46%).

At the other end of the scale, Megève lost just under 7% of fans over the season, mostly after Facebook initiated a clean-up of inactive accounts in March.

A season of milestones

This was the season that the first European ski resort hit 200,000 Facebook fans and it was a French one: Val Thorens. Fresh from its success in being voted World’s Best Ski Resort for the second year in a row, Val Tho joins an elite band of North American resorts: Jackson HoleMammoth and Whistler / Blackcomb.

Other resorts hitting milestones this season included La Plagne (50k), Ax 3 Domaines and Saint Lary in the Pyrenees (30k), La Norma (20k), and several at 10k+ : Saint Gervais, Les Saisies, Piau-Engaly and Sainte Foy.

A successful printemps du ski?

This spring’s France Montagnes’ campaign, Le Printemps du Ski, or Skiing into Spring in English, was an attempt to fight back against the erosion of late season business in recent years, not helped by the Easter calendar and late French school holidays. How well did it go?

Well, one particularly active participant in the campaign, Saint François Longchamp, certainly seems to have benefited, at least on Facebook. It finished the season strongly, gaining 10% in March, 24% in April, and scoring nearly 58k views for this video:

Overall, though, the top 50 French ski resorts on Facebook grew their fans just 0.9% in April on average, down from 2.6% in April 2014.

A time to thank the fans

Finally, this is a good time for resorts to show their appreciation and thank their fans for their support over the season. Show them some love. Here’s what happens when you do (they appreciate it):

Ax 3 Domaines FB screenshot

Have a good relaxing inter-season everyone and here is the ranking in full, as recorded on 1 May 2015:

Top 5 French ski domains on Facebook

  1. Portes du Soleil – 111,417 fans
  2. Nouvelles Pyrénées – 60,016
  3. Haute Maurienne Vanoise – 48,309
  4. Les 3 Vallées – 29,475
  5. Grand Massif – 19,181

Top 50 French ski resorts on Facebook

  1. Val Thorens – 202,553 fans
  2. Megève – 107,579
  3. Val d’Isère – 96,370
  4. Chamonix – 79,225
  5. Les Menuires – 73,393
  6. Tignes – 64,900
  7. La Clusaz – 62,851
  8. Les Arcs – 61,493
  9. Courchevel – 55,122
  10. La Plagne – 50,580
  11. Alpe d’Huez – 46,036
  12. Les 2 Alpes – 44,847
  13. Cauterets – 41,403
  14. Serre Chevalier – 39,977
  15. Le Grand Bornand – 37,708
  16. Avoriaz – 36,572
  17. Vars – 31,551
  18. Saint Lary – 30,797
  19. Ax 3 Domaines – 30,004
  20. Méribel – 29,134
  21. Les Gets – 24,775
  22. La Norma – 20,793
  23. Orcières – 19,267
  24. Saint François Longchamp – 18,235
  25. Valloire – 17,684
  26. Les Sept Laux – 15,366
  27. Le Dévoluy – 15,214
  28. Peyragudes – 15,179
  29. Lac Blanc – 14,207
  30. Les Orres – 13,911
  31. Châtel – 13,876
  32. Morzine – 13,587
  33. Les Contamines – 13,347
  34. Le Lioran – 12,117
  35. Montgenèvre – 12,010
  36. Grand Tourmalet – 11,960
  37. Saint Gervais – 11,598
  38. Les Saisies – 11,379
  39. Piau-Engaly – 11,379
  40. Sainte Foy – 10,741
  41. Aussois – 10,202
  42. Les Angles – 9,506
  43. La Pierre St Martin – 9,275
  44. Chamrousse – 9,059
  45. Isola 2000 – 8,594
  46. Val Cenis Vanoise – 8,251
  47. Gourette – 8,198
  48. Risoul – 7,996
  49. Praloup – 7,855
  50. Arêches-Beaufort – 7,612

Please note: these are official pages only and only those resorts are included that have at least some alpine ski uplift capacity, ie a ski lift. Sorry if I’ve missed anyone and please let me know so this list can be improved for next month. Linked resorts/domains like the 3 Valleys are ranked separately and the count was done on 1 May 2015.

Top 30 French ski resorts on Twitter (1 July ’14)

French ski resorts are still adding followers faster on Twitter than on Facebook. The top 30 on Twitter averaged 3.5% follower growth in June, compared to 1.1% fan growth for the top 50 on Facebook.

Chamonix (+7%) and Alpe d’Huez (+10%) both feature once again among the most active, adding 300-odd followers in June.

Chamonix boosted its numbers by running a contest…

…and Alpe d’Huez continues to play on its legendary status in the cycling world…

Meanwhile Les 2 Alpes (+11%) was building the buzz for its summer skiing season:

Notably, four of the top 10 growing fastest in June were Pyrenees resorts: Peyragudes (+17%), Cauterets (+6%), Piau (+5%) and Pic du Midi (+5%). Coincidence? Not entirely: all of them also benefit from the communications efforts of N’PY, which represents all those resorts and has been fairly busy, averaging nearly five tweets a day.

Here is the ranking in full, as compiled on the 1st of July:

Top 3 French ski domains on Twitter:

  1. Les 3 Vallées – 2,745 followers
  2. Portes du Soleil – 2,454
  3. Nouvelles Pyrénées – 2,380

Top 30 French ski resorts on Twitter:

  1. Megève – 8,417 followers
  2. Chamonix – 4,903
  3. Val Thorens – 4,644
  4. Alpe d’Huez – 3,489
  5. Val d’Isère – 3,152
  6. Morzine (en) – 2,704
  7. Les Arcs (fr) – 2,649
  8. La Plagne – 2,351
  9. Les Gets – 2,154
  10. Serre Chevalier (en) – 2,084
  11. Les Menuires – 2,069
  12. Le Grand Bornand – 1,971
  13. La Clusaz  – 1,971
  14. Morzine (fr) – 1,949
  15. Avoriaz – 1,857
  16. Serre Chevalier (fr) – 1,666
  17. Ax3Domaines – 1,660
  18. Les Contamines – 1,438
  19. La Tania – 1,381
  20. Peyragudes – 1,261
  21. Vars – 1,257
  22. Aussois – 1,255
  23. Méribel – 1,231
  24. Tignes – 1,215
  25. Orcières 1850 – 1,130
  26. Pic du Midi – 1,047
  27. Piau – 1,027
  28. Montgenèvre – 974
  29. Cauterets – 932
  30. Les 2 Alpes – 922

Please note: these numbers were polled on the 1st of July 2014. Sorry if I’ve missed anyone and please do let me know so this list can be improved for next month… Official resort accounts only and linked resorts/domains are ranked separately.

Top 30 French ski resorts on Twitter (2 June ’14)

There were two changes in top five French ski resorts on Twitter in May.

Chamonix (+4%) overtook Val Thorens to take second spot behind Megève. Chamonix typically doesn’t slow down as much as other resorts in the inter-season and, in town the other day, it was easy to see why: while people are sunning themselves at café tables in t-shirts and shorts, others are walking past off the Montenvers train in full ski gear with skis on their shoulders. There’s not much inter-season in Chamonix.

Meantime Alpe d’Huez (+11%) overtook Val d’Isère to sneak fourth place (up from 19th at the start of the year). It continues to trade on its reputation in the cycling world and is gearing up for the mega Dutch charity event in early June, Alpe d’HuZes.

Megève, by the way, shed followers for the third month in a row, down another 120 or 1.4% in May from its Twitter Card-induced high.

Average follower growth for the whole top 30 on Twitter dropped to 2.4% in May, from 3.1% in April.

Here are all the latest scores, as compiled on the 2nd of June:

Top 3 French ski domains on Twitter:

  1. Les 3 Vallées – 2,703 followers
  2. Portes du Soleil – 2,387
  3. Nouvelles Pyrénées – 2,343

Top 30 French ski resorts on Twitter:

  1. Megève – 8,500 followers
  2. Chamonix – 4,604
  3. Val Thorens – 4,596
  4. Alpe d’Huez – 3,184
  5. Val d’Isère – 3,098
  6. Morzine (en) – 2,642
  7. Les Arcs (fr) – 2,621
  8. La Plagne – 2,320
  9. Les Gets – 2,073
  10. Serre Chevalier (en) – 2,067
  11. Les Menuires – 2,043
  12. Le Grand Bornand – 1,929
  13. La Clusaz  – 1,923
  14. Morzine (fr) – 1,877
  15. Avoriaz – 1,827
  16. Ax3Domaines – 1,656
  17. Serre Chevalier (fr) – 1,630
  18. Les Contamines – 1,415
  19. La Tania – 1,353
  20. Aussois – 1,245
  21. Vars – 1,238
  22. Méribel – 1,190
  23. Tignes – 1,162
  24. Orcières 1850 – 1,109
  25. Peyragudes – 1,078
  26. Pic du Midi – 998
  27. Piau – 974
  28. Montgenèvre – 952
  29. Cauterets – 882
  30. Gourette – 837

Please note: these numbers were polled on the 2nd of June 2014. Sorry if I’ve missed anyone and please do let me know so this list can be improved for next month… Official resort accounts only and linked resorts/domains are ranked separately.

Top French ski resorts on Facebook (on 1 June ’14)

Mountain resorts like the one I live in are quite literally buzzing in May with building work and general preparations for summer. But tourism-wise, it is a low point and that showed on social media: the average fan growth of the top 50 French ski resorts on Facebook dropped to 0.9%, almost the same as this time last year.

Among those that generated above-average activity, the common theme was getting ready for summer which, in the case of Le Grand Bornand (+6.3%), meant driving the cows up to the alpage…

…for La Clusaz (+3.5%) meant opening its Via Ferrata…

La Clusaz via ferrata

…and for Les 2 Alpes (+3.3%) meant getting its glacier ready for summer skiing:

Meanwhile Les Carroz merged two pages and jumped 56% to 51st place in the rankings:

Here is the ranking in full, as recorded on 1 June 2014:

Top 5 French ski domains on Facebook

  1. Portes du Soleil – 115,118 fans
  2. Nouvelles Pyrénées – 47,585
  3. Haute Maurienne Vanoise – 40,093
  4. Les 3 Vallées – 23,598
  5. Grand Massif – 12,379

Top 50 French ski resorts on Facebook

  1. Val Thorens – 161,550 fans
  2. Megève – 114,948
  3. Chamonix – 57,035
  4. Tignes – 53,731
  5. Courchevel – 49,243
  6. Les Menuires – 48,385
  7. Val d’Isère – 46,096
  8. Les Arcs – 44,769
  9. La Clusaz – 41,078
  10. Alpe d’Huez – 40,169
  11. Les 2 Alpes – 33,446
  12. Cauterets – 32,443
  13. La Plagne – 31,950
  14. Serre Chevalier – 30,219
  15. Saint Lary – 27,522
  16. Avoriaz – 27,273
  17. Vars – 24,605
  18. Le Grand Bornand – 24,487
  19. Méribel – 20,187
  20. La Norma – 17,340
  21. Ax 3 Domaines – 16,501
  22. Les Gets – 15,970
  23. Le Dévoluy – 14,084
  24. Les Sept Laux – 12,860
  25. Peyragudes – 12,393
  26. Les Contamines – 12,313
  27. Châtel – 12,312
  28. Lac Blanc – 12,074
  29. Les Orres – 11,910
  30. Morzine – 11,418
  31. Orcières1850 – 11,153
  32. Montgenèvre – 10,533
  33. Aussois – 9,606
  34. Grand Tourmalet – 9,585
  35. Valloire – 9,545
  36. Sainte Foy – 9,192
  37. Piau-Engaly – 8,812
  38. Les Saisies – 8,098
  39. Les Angles – 7,949
  40. Le Lioran – 7,756
  41. Gourette – 7,062
  42. Praloup – 6,228
  43. La Pierre St Martin – 6,142
  44. Le Corbier – 5,410
  45. Samoëns – 5,028
  46. Arêches Beaufort – 4,978
  47. Valmorel – 4,803
  48. Metabief – 4,799
  49. Villard de Lans – 4,763
  50. Luz Ardiden – 4,742

Please note: these are official pages only and only those resorts are included that have at least some alpine ski uplift capacity, ie a ski lift. Sorry if I’ve missed anyone and please let me know so this list can be improved for next month. Linked resorts/domains like the 3 Valleys are ranked separately and the count was done on 1 June.

Why this mountain tourism campaign works

Which of us can say we get as much of a sense of pride and wellbeing from our work as this young woman?

Or as much adventure and satisfaction as this lady?

Kudos to Savoie Mont Blanc for creating these videos as part of their new spring campaign, launched last week. It’s storytelling and it’s about mountain people and, to my mind, the most compelling part of the whole campaign, giving depth to the more conventional-style spots that are also in there.

You can find the whole playlist here.