The TUI group (Crystal, Thomson and First Choice) received more than 40,000 completed questionnaires from UK customers last season asking them to detail which resorts they rated most highly.

The top five favourite ski destinations were as follows: 1) USA;  2) Spain; 3) Canada; 4) Andorra; 4) Switzerland; 5) Austria. Italy just misses the top five, coming in sixth place, but most surprisingly France doesn't make the list.

Michael Brabin, senior product manager for TUI puts it down to France's high in-resort prices: "In some resorts last (and the previous) winter, prices for beer/snacks were, in comparison to other countries, at least a third more expensive."

If price is the deciding factor for UK skiers, then you maybe wondering why the USA and Canada rank so highly in the favourites list, considering the rising fuel charges.

Michael explains, "UK skiers know that you can get the abundance of snow and reliability in USA and Canada. Although some customers aren't visiting as often, many will choose these destinations every other year or every third year to ensure they get a ski break with phenomenal snow. Also many big resorts like Whistler, Banff, Breckenridge and Vail are counterbalancing the rising fuel charges by giving huge discounts on accommodation, 40-50-percent off their rates, helping to keep prices to these popular resorts as low as possible."

Eating out in North America is also significantly cheaper, so many UK skiers are happy to stay in accommodation that doesn't offer meals, especially since condos (apartments) are generally huge in size.

Looking at the other ski destinations in the favourites list, Michael says Spain appeals to customers due to its short transfer times and good food; Andorra is well suited to beginners and those seeking lively apres-ski; Switzerland is an iconic destination with some great party resorts; and Austria is known for its excellent facilities, apres-ski, and is easier on the wallet than France and Switzerland.