Skiing & Snowboarding is Back with Surging Interest for Spring

Resorts and Tour Operators report growing interest as Covid rules ease. A new report backs up the situation for France. EasyJet has put on an extra 50,000 additional seats on flights departing to ski destinations. UPDATED

Many of the easyJet seats are over the Easter holiday break as skiers and snowboarders react to an easing of Covid-19 travel restrictions and rules in ski resorts.

The destination airports include Geneva in Switzerland, Grenoble, & Lyon in France, Salzburg in Austria and Sofia in Bulgaria.

We reported on the growing interest earlier on PlanetSKI:

“We are delighted to be adding even more seats to our 2022 schedule, so that we can provide our customers in the UK with even more choice for ski, beach, and city destinations,” said easyJet’s UK Country Manager, Ali Gayward.

“We are excited about our plans……which should see us return to near 2019 levels of flying.”

Flying to the Alps

Flying over the Alps. Image © PlanetSKI

We’re at 20% up on our best ever January and February , with half-term completely sold out across all suppliers,” said Richard Sinclair from the ski travel agent, SNO.

“March and April were looking to be completely booked within the next week, but new flights in the market mean we can find great holidays for customers who have left it a bit late.

“Demand is huge for Easter packages, so it’s important to jump on these new holidays quickly, as this will not be a year for late deals.  If you really want to go, hurry up and get booked.”

If the half term week was anything to go with busy slopes, British skiers and snowboarders are back.

PlanetSKI has been in France, Italy and Switzerland seeing things with our own eyes this past week.

La Rosiere, France. Image © PlanetSKI

La Rosiere, France. Image © PlanetSKI

Courmayeur, Italy. Image © PlanetSKI

Courmayeur, Italy. Image © PlanetSKI

Thyon 2000, Switzerland. Image © PlanetSKI

Thyon 2000, Switzerland. Image © PlanetSKI

Last week Switzerland eased most of its Covid rules:

One person back on her skis is PlanetSKI’s chief reporter, Jane Peel.

Injury and Covid mean she hasn’t skied for more than two years.

Jane Peel first day on skis in 26 months – photo © PlanetSKI

UK tour operators are working to meet extra demand for Easter and are singing the praises of late season skiing and snowboarding

“The days are longer. The weather is warmer. There’s still plenty of snow. The benefits of skiing at Easter are truths self-evident,” said Gareth Crump from VIP SKI.

“From seasoned mountain goers to first-timers; Easter is the opportune time for skiing or snowboarding, the late season conditions make for a decidedly welcoming trip to the slopes.

“For those who enjoy a beer after a day on the slopes, the longer hours and consistent sunshine sets the scene for some of the season’s best après ski.

“For families, the blue skies and temperate weather mean more time on the piste and less time warming up over a hot chocolate.

“Non-ski activities like dog-sledding, snowshoeing and sledging action become increasingly attractive and offer new ways for appreciating the unbridled beauty of the mountainside,” added Gareth.

Bear Lodge, Arc 1950. Image c/o VIP SKI

Bear Lodge, Arc 1950. Image c/o VIP SKI

Absolutely Snow reports growing interest in one of its most popular destinations, Andorra.

“The relaxation of covid travel rules means that there is a great choice of lights in to Barcelona and Toulouse,” said Duncan Gilroy from Absolutely Snow.

“Swift transfers, ski in ski out hotels, great skiing and probably the best value apres ski in western Europe and with the availability of great value heliskiing Andorra  should be on every skiers bucket list.”

See here for more on the Pyrenees:

The major ski operator Inghams also says Andorra is growing in popularity:

And if you are interested in Austria for later this season:

It has been a busy half-term week in Morzine in the French part of the Portes du Soleil with the area reporting growing interest in skiing in the second half of the season.

“It’s great to have Morzine busy and buzzing again,” said Sara Burdon from the Morzine tourist office to PlanetSKI this week.

“After a tricky start to the season restrictions have eased and British skiers are able to make it out here and enjoy the slopes.

“The full entertainment and events programme is back on and accommodation is full over the holidays.

“Bookings are looking very good for the rest of the season as skiers are keen to take advantage of the ease in restrictions and get back to their much loved Morzine.”

Morzine, France. Image © PlanetSKI

Morzine, France. Image © PlanetSKI

It remain busy across many French ski resorts.

Initial figures suggest numbers are almost back to their pre-pandemic levels.

A recent report from the holiday firm, PAP Vaccances  concluded that bookings were returning to pre-pandemic levels.

8.3% up on 2020 and 88% on 2021.

Resorts in the Alps, which account for two thirds of the French ski industry, were just 5% below their 2020 booking rates.

Bookings in the Pyrenees have increased by 70% on 2020.

Here at PlanetSKI we are currently reading the report and digesting its content.

We will be updating shortly so do check back.

La Rosiere, France. Image © PlanetSKI

La Rosiere, France. Image © PlanetSKI