Snowfall in the UK at the weekend coupled with huge snowfalls in the Alps – as well as The Dolomites, Pyrenees and Scandinavia – has led to a surge in ski holiday booking enquiries according to specialist ski travel agencies and tour operators, including for the first package holiday departures of the 17-18 season this coming weekend.
Ironically, Christmas and especially pre-Christmas holidays were seen as a rather more “hard sell” than usual for tour operators this season as the past three autumns had delivered rather lacklustre snow cover in December, particularly at lower resorts. As a result travel companies were seeing Christmas bargains and greater interest, with as resulting small price rise, for Easter trips.
That’s all changed now.
“Bookings are through the roof with, for example, three times as many enquiries over the weekend as the same time last year,” confirmed Richard Sinclair of specialist ski holiday travel agency sno.co.uk,
“Suddenly all the cheap deals in lower resorts are booking fast – it looks like being the best Xmas and New Year snow in 5 years, and skiers can’t wait to get back to the places they know make for a very cool Yule!”
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Even before the snow in the UK this weekend, the promising signs of autumn snow from the Alps had led to a jump in bookings. Marion Telsnig from the UK’s biggest ski holiday operator, Crystal, described current sales as “unprecedented,” commenting,
“Thanks to the great snowfall in the Alps in the last few days we have unprecedented demand for departures this weekend. This is also leading to increased demand for Christmas week when our main season starts.”
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It’s the same story for another of the UK’s big operators, Inghams,
“We’ve certainly seen a surge in enquiries in the last few weeks with the great snow In the Alps and sales In December up almost 20% compared to last year,” said Simon McIntyre, the company’s Head of Sales, who added,
“Since the snow has fallen here in the UK we have seen a ‘flurry’ of activity with a notable spike for ski holidays in the coming weeks with Christmas and New Year being the most popular, closely followed by the first two weeks in January. We have some amazing ski holidays still available with up to 50% savings at Christmas, but with the cold snap here in the UK getting people in the mood for skiing I don’t think they’ll be around for long!”