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28 Sep 2017

BY April Hutchinson

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Poor snowfall hits ski chalet bookings

Consistently poor snowfall in Europe is already hitting peak Christmas bookings in the luxury ski chalet sector.

Ski chalet at dusk
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"The impact [of the EU referendum] on the exchange rate is making operating more expensive"

Around 60% of participants in the annual Chalet Ski Stats report by Consensio stated that the lack of early snowfall over the 2016-17 season was having a negative impact on clients’ decision-making on forward bookings for this coming winter.


“The 2016-17 season was the third in a row when there was a late start to snowfall, with not enough coming in time for Christmas; as a result, everyone is seeing cautiousness among clients,” said Consensio managing director Ceri Tinley.


“Last November, we had awesome snow, but that was washed away by rain in early December, and the next snowfall didn’t come until after New Year. Guests are perhaps looking to go somewhere hot at Christmas instead and booking their ski holiday for Easter or half-term.”


Tinley added however that 60% of operators had still reported an increase in bookings generally for winter and 52% reported an increase in spend on the holiday.


Produced in association with Welove2ski.com, the report tracks data from 24 chalet operators, including Consensio, along with 18 agents and operators.


The UK market remains the strongest for high-end ski chalets in France, with clients representing 55% of the market, while the UK is also the top nationality booking luxury chalets in Switzerland, accounting for 45%. Val d’Isere and Meribel lead the way in French resort popularity and Verbier and Zermatt in Switzerland.


“With all four resorts similarly located at high altitude, that seems to be reassuring clients worried about the snow,” said Tinley.


The survey found half of those in the luxury ski sector had felt a negative impact as a result of the EU referendum.


“The impact on the exchange rate is making operating more expensive,” said Tinley.

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