The ski sector, which has almost reached maturity in Western Europe, is now getting an extra boost from emerging countries.

In particular, the industry is seeing significant growth in Russia and South Korea — the next two nations to host the Winter Olympics in 2014 and 2018.  Russia has a total of 170 ski resorts — only 31 of which have more than 4 ski lifts — and sells 3 million skier days per year. South Korea has an entertainment-based approach to skiing, including music on the slopes and night-time skiing, and sells 7 million skier days despite the resorts having only a few kilometers of slopes available.

“France is in prime position in this market, with 57.9 million skier days per year.  But Russia and South Korea are catching up, as are many other Eastern European countries, and Asia and the Americas. Our teams are turning our focus to the international dimension, to attract more foreign exhibitors and visitors to Mountain Planet-SAM. This trade show, which takes place on 23-25 April next year in Grenoble, is the largest global event for the mountain industry — both for winter and summer activities.  We have over 700 exhibitors and brands in an area spanning over 50,000 sqm, including numerous French companies which are globally-known for their expertise.”, states Catherine Calmels, Managing Director for Alpexpo, who organizes Mountain Planet-SAM.

Mountain Planet-SAM, previously called the International Mountain Development Fair, was established in 1974 in Grenoble, France, a city which hosted the 10th Winter Olympics in 1968. At the origin of this show is a team of people devoted to the mountain (officials, journalists and manufacturers etc.) who wanted to create a place where “man and mountain meet” (slogan at the time).

Ever since, every other year (even-numbered years) Mountain Planet-SAM, the mountain industry’s largest showcase, is held in Grenoble. This major exhibition event is host to professionals in both winter and summer mountain activities, as well as “urban area planners” — notably in aerial rope transportation. The variety and notoriety of the exhibitors, as well as the Mountain Planet-SAM program which includes seminars, debates and conferences, attracts visitors from all over the world.

In 2014, Mountain Planet-SAM will celebrate its 40th birthday.