Ski operators are seeing an upturn in bookings as the arrival of snow-storms finally brings good conditions to the slopes.
An unseasonably warm start to the season saw little or no snow fall in many of the key Alpine resorts in December, leaving those who had booked and Christmas or New Year skiing holiday disappointed.
Many resorts could not open all their runs and instead were forced to use snow cannon in order to ensure winter sports fans could still get their fix.
Popular resorts like Les Menuires, Val Thorens and Méribel were even forced to ask locals to forego the slopes in order to ensure holidaymakers were able to get some time on the slopes.
However, conditions improved massively the weekend after New Years Day when an initial storm blew in across the Alps.
The Ski Club of Great Britain has since reported more than a metre has fallen on the slopes with the snow line this week looking likely to drop from 1,800m to 1,000m. Both the Pyrenees and eastern Europe have also received heavy falls too.
While the fresh snow has raised the risk of avalanches in certain places as the it packs down, it has also led to a serious boost in bookings for UK operators.
Simon McIntyre, head of sales for Esprit, Inghams and Ski Total, said: “Whilst the early December snowfall, and clever work in resort to retain and maintain snow, were welcome, Inghams gladly followed news of snow falling on Saturday, January 2. The promised storm came and snow continues to fall.
“This means we go into the new year with many powder hounds in resort enjoying remarkable conditions.
“As soon as news came between Christmas and New Year of the impending storm, Inghams phones and website were extremely busy with bookings from agents.
“Inghams have had one of the busiest New Years for ski bookings, and our reservations teams were open throughout the New Year Bank Holiday weekend taking books as well as answering calls and queries from agents.
“Inghams has some last minute deals, for those ready to hop on a plane with a few days’ to spare. Towards the end of January things get much tighter, and half term and Easter are now well sold.
“The advice is to book now if guests want any choice of accommodation. The snow is still falling and it’s set to be a great season in the Alps and North America.”
Crystal Ski Holidays managing director Tamsin Todd agreed the operator had also seen a bookings boost as a result of the changing conditions.
She added: “Finally, a blanket of snow covers the Alps and there’s more where that came from, especially the northern French Alps as well as the Swiss and Austrian Alps and north-west of Italy, 40 cm in Bardonecchia in the Milky Way ski area.
“The forecast is that it will continue over the week and further snowfall everywhere.
“Empty slopes, fresh powder and good prices (mean it’s a) perfect time to go skiing.”
Great to see such a vital part of the winter travel industry getting a meteorological boost