Industry body Ski Scotland said the late start to the season had a “significant impact” but on average there were more skiers per day than the previous season.
The five resorts – CairnGorm Mountain, Glencoe Mountain Resort, Glenshee Ski Centre, Lecht Ski Centre and Nevis Range – attracted a total of 207,770 skiers and snowboarders in the 404 days of the 2016 season. Return visitors are counted again on each visit.
A Ski Scotland report said this brought in £16.8m for local businesses and £4.1m for the resorts.
Lack of snow cover delayed the start to the season, making it shorter than the 463 days of 2014-15 season, which generated £23.2m.
Ski Scotland chairwoman Heather Negus said she was “delighted” with the latest figures.
She said: “Although they are lower than last season, they are much better than anticipated, given the late start to the season.
“This year, the season did not start until mid-January, as opposed to last winter, when our first ski areas were open by mid-December.
“Although this season was short, we found that on average across the resorts there were more skiers each day – 514 per day in 2016 compared to only 497 for season 2014-15.”