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Monday November 13, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

Resorts & tour operators report a sharp rise in sales after the fresh snow as people look forward to a good start to winter. Is it justified? UPDATED

For the second weekend in a row there has been significant snowfall in some parts of the Alps. 

And with the temperature remaining cold there is optimism in the air that it could be a great start to the 2017/18 season.

Up to a metre fell in some resorts last weekend and in places it was just as good a week earlier.

The slopes are looking pretty good in some resorts as they wait for the season to start.

Tignes, FranceTignes, France

And given the picture above it is no surprise Tignes is the current best- selling resort for the UK's largest ski agent, Iglu Ski.

Here Iglu Ski's Top  5 bestselling resorts for December overall:

2. Val Thorens
3. La Plagne
4. Alpe d'Huez
5. Les Deux Alpes
As you you'd expect people have gone for high resorts.
"In the past weeks we've seen up to half price catered chalet deals for Christmas and New Year and our top selling resort has been St Anton.  St Anton is always a reliable choice for early season snow and so far this year it's in great shape, so those customers look to have bagged themselves a bargain," said the Product Manager for Iglu Ski, Nick Jackson
The equation is a simple one. 

Fresh snow gets people thinking about, and booking for, the winter ahead. 

"With all this wonderful snowfall across the Alps, we've seen a real surge in early season bookings - the phones are ringing for bookings across our full range of European resorts for the week before Christmas - as we only sell snow-sure resorts," said Becky Pascual from Skiworld.

"Snow conditions are great across the board and we can't think of a better way avoid the pre-Christmas mania than heading out to take advantage of all this early fresh snow!"

However we have been here before with good snow in November and yet the early promise never delivered. The start of the season has been poor in the Alps for the last three winters despite good snow in November.

That doesn't seem to have harmed people booking this year.

"Currently sat at Geneva airport having just had a flying visit to Meribel, courchevel, Val d'Isere, Morzine and Les Gets. The temperatures were well below freezing in all resorts and recent snowfall makes these French resorts look at inviting for early season skiing as St Anton and Lech," said Gareth Crump from VIP SKI. 

Sales team at VIP SKISales team at VIP SKI

"The phones have been ringing of the hook since the snow started falling," said the MD of Ski Famille, Chirs Thompson, to PlanetSKI.

"So much so that I had to help out the sales team in the office and I even made a sale!"

"With a cold snap at home and fresh snow on the ground in the Alps we are seeing a lot more families focused on getting their ski holidays booked," added Chris .

Families of four can get away with Ski Famille from as little as £1,499 for four including flights and transfers.

Some of the best deals from Ski Famille and others are at the end of this article, so do scroll down if you want to see the details of the deals.

It is a picture reflected across the UK industry and people are being urged to book early as the best deals will be running out shortly.

"Here in the Ski Total and Esprit offices we are really excited at the continuing snowfall in the Alps - the season will be upon us in a matter of weeks.  But there's still some time for everyone to get a great December deal to take advantage of it," said Catherine Edwards from Ski Total/Esprit Ski.

At the World Travel Market at the Excel Centre in London last week there were broad smiles from the snowsports industry after the first big snowfall. 

"It's fantastic to see so much snow in early November as it reminds people winter is very much on its way and gets us all really excited about the coming ski season," said Sara Roloff from Switzerland Tourism.

"We have several glacier resorts open in Switzerland already including Zermatt, Saas-Fee, Engelberg, Diavolezza/Engadin, Davos and Laax and people are already enjoying the start of the ski season in the Swiss Alps."

Sara Roloff, Switzerland TourismSara Roloff, Switzerland Tourism

"This December is looking like the best for many years in terms of prices and the early snow is certainly giving us plenty of encouragement for a great start to the season. If you want to get the best prices then now is the time to book," said Louise Newton from Inghams.

Louise Newton, InghamsLouise Newton, Inghams

And it's not just the Alps that has seen some very good early season snow.

"It was great to catch up with a number of resorts at the World Travel Market and the main topic of discussion was the snow news.  Our friends from Travel Alberta were keen to remind us that a number of Alberta resorts are already open," added Nick Jackson from Iglu Ski.
Sunshine Village, CanadaSunshine Village, Canada


But, as we said earlier, the optimism may not be justified. 

November 2016 saw good snow, but in some resorts not a flake of natural snow fell for the next 50 days. 

The start of the season in 2015/16 and 2014/15 was also poor in large sections of the Alps  

What we can say for certain is that it is great for the resorts that are already open or those that plan to shortly.

They key now is not so much further snow, but colder temperatures. 

This will preserve what has fallen and allow the cannons to be switched on.  

At the moment it is remaining cold and is -4c in Verbier with the cannons pumping it out like it is going out fashion.

Cannons currently at full tilt in VerbierCannons currently at full tilt in Verbier

Here at PlanetSKI we are not so much doing our snow dances as doing our cold temperature dances.  

We'll keep you posted. 

Great November snowGreat November snow

In the meantime we turn to Nick Jackson again.

"Sales are strong and the good snow news, along with the current deals on offer, mean now is the time to book an early season break or one of the fantastic value Christmas and New Year deals on offer," said Nick.  

DEALS + DISCOUNTS   As promised here are few and many others can be found in the PlanetSKI Deals and Discount page:  

Our best deals at the moment from Iglu Ski: Extra  £100 off in December and January -

For details of the Inghams December deals then see the special section on the Inghams web site


16th December 2017 - Chalet Nicole, Plagne 1800. A spacious chalet with hot tub, sauna and dedicated playroom footsteps from the slopes. £1,499 for a family of four including Gatwick flights and transfers. Saves up to £1,214.   

23rd December 2017
- Chalet Bogart, Les Gets. Spend Christmas in a luxury family friendly chalet in prime location in the centre of Les Gets. £2,699 for a family of four including Eurotuunel FlexiPlus channel crossings. Saves up to £851.  

6th January 2018
- Chalet Faucon, Les Bruyeres (Les Menuires, 3 Valleys). This brand new chalet has been built to our design and is a superb 3 Valleys base for skiing families. £2,299 for a family of four including Gatwick flights and transfers. Saves up to £1,186.  

Ski Total
is offering the Chalet Hotel Rosset from just £399pp (was £739pp) travelling on the 12/12/17. This enviably located Chalet Hotel in Tignes, just 1 minutes' walk from the nearest lift boasts stunning views across the lake.     

Esprit Ski 01483 791 920) is offering Chalet Arnica in La Rossiere  from just £325pp. The price is based on a family of 4, (2 adults and 2 children 2-10 years) from £1299 travelling on the 19/12/17 and includes return flights from Stansted to Chambéry. 

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: No1 for ski news  

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