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Monday November 7, 2016 - Email this article to a friend

The new snow across the Alps has led to a surge of bookings after a difficult start to the winter for the UK tour operators. PlanetSKI reports.

This year perhaps more than any season in recent years the snowsports industry needs some good early snowfall.

Christmas and New Year are selling badly after poor snow in the past few seasons and the traditional Saturday transfer day falls on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve.

Then there is the small matter of a tumbling exchange rate that has pushed resort prices up by around 15% and then the economic worries following Brexit.

Poor snow in November and December would add to an already difficult situation.

Well here at PlanetSKI we are delighted to report that there is huge levels of snow across the Alps.

It will make a difference to the early season especially as the temperatures are set to remain cold with more snow in the forecast.

It is good news indeed and the season will at least start well.

See here for a related PlanetSKI report on the snow across the Alps with all the latest news, pictures and video. It was posted in Thursday 10th November.

The great and the good of the travel industry, including those involved in winter tourism, were in London earlier this week for the World Travel Market.

The Head of Tourism for the Swiss region of the Valais, Marcelline Kuonen, was on the Switzerland Tourism stand at the WTM.

Marcelline Kuones, Valais TourismMarcelline Kuonen, Valais Tourism
















"The new snow is the best news we could have hoped for as it gets people not only thinking about winter, but also booking holidays. We have high-altitude skiing in many ski resorts in the Valais so we are well-protected, but it is great to see the change in the weather and there is now snow all the way down to the village in Zermatt," said Marcelline to PlanetSKI.

And here is what it currently looks like in Zermatt.

Zermatt, SwitzerlandZermatt, Switzerland
















The snow fell across the Alps with some of the heaviest falling in the Austrian Tirol.

"We have had more than 50cm of fresh snow at some of our resorts and it is a welcome boost. I have been in the UK for the past few days and the cold weather here should also help people start thinking about the winter ahead and the snowsports to come," said the International Marketing Director of Tirol Tourism, Holger Gasler.

Holger Gasler, Tirol TourismHolger Gasler, Tirol Tourism
















And it has already made a difference with UK operators reporting a surge in sales as people hear about the snow and feel more in the mood for winter with the distinct autumnal chill in the air across the UK too.

Specialist operator and agent, Ski Solutions is reporting a 20% year-on-year spike in enquiries this week .

"After a slow start to the last two seasons, it looks as though Mother Nature is going to be kind to us this year. We're seeing exceptional conditions for November, with heavy falls in recent days to the valley floor, and deep snow packs building above 1800 metres," said the managing director of Ski Solutions, Craig Burton.

Tignes, FranceTignes, France
















It is the same across the UK snowsports industry.

"Mark Warner have had a cracking sales week following the first big snowfalls in the Alps. Like for like ski bookings were 60% up last week. The snow has coincided with some super offers in place for our Christmas and New Year skiing, with up to 50% off and peak ski season prices per person from £779," said Ben Roseveare. 

Ben Roseveare, Mark WarnerBen Roseveare, Mark Warner
















See here for the festive offers from Mark Warner. 

And it is a similar picture at other operators.

"Call volume has doubled since the news of snow has hit with enquiries for December departure dates being the most popular. Amongst our selection of resorts Val d'Isère has seen the biggest increase in interest," said Gareth Crump from VIP SKI.

Gareth Crump, VIP SKIGareth Crump, VIP SKI

















"Since the start of the snowfall at the weekend we saw a significant increase in enquiries, certainly on Sunday when the snow was in full swing!" added Amanda Church from Alpine Answers.

Amanda Church, Alpine AnswersAmanda Church, Alpine Answers
















The UK tour operators have been quick off the mark to promote the snow and push out deals.

"It's been a terrific weekend across the Alps with some fantastic snowfall!  It's exciting that December is now drawing near," said Moira Clarke from the sister tour operators, Ski Total and Esprit Ski.

And here are two of their offers:

The snow is falling in Tignes!  Ski early December with Ski Total

Tignes experienced 40cm of snow last weekend, a fantastic start to the season!  Get in early and enjoy a week pre-Christmas in the lovely contemporary Chalet Chamois, with open-plan living/dining, big picture windows and delightful sun-terrace, all within 3 minutes' walk of the nearest lift.  Ski Total ( 01483 791 935) is offering 7 nights from just £588pp, a saving of £420 per couple.  Travelling from Heathrow to Geneva on the 16/12/16, this price is based on 2 adults sharing and includes flights, transfers, free wifi and chalet half board including buffet breakfast, afternoon tea and a 4 course evening meal with complimentary wine.

It's snowing in Belle Plagne - take the family this December!

Belle Plagne received almost half a metre of snow last weekend - it's looking to be an excellent season!  Esprit Ski ( 01483 791 920) is offering a stay in their flagship Chalet Hotel Des Deux Domaines from just £449pp. This Chalet Hotel offers the ideal family ski holiday with stylish, spacious rooms and excellent leisure facilities, a superb ski location and swimming pool. This price is based on a family of 4, (2 adults and 2 children 2-10 years) from £1799 travelling on the 16/12/16 and includes return flights from Heathrow to Geneva, transfers, free baby listening, free wifi, use of spa facilities including indoor pool and seven nights chalet catered accommodation with a cooked breakfast, afternoon tea, children's high tea and 5-course dinners with complimentary wine. Esprit Classic Child Care is available from £215 for a week of exclusive ski lessons.

Here at PlanetSKI we will be hearing from some of the other UK tour operators shortly as they react to the snow with some tempting offers.

And if you want to keep across all the deals and discounts available, then check out the special section on PlanetSKI.

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the world of snowsports.

PlanetSKI: No1 for ski news

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