Agents could be in for a flurry of late ski bookings this year due to winter sports fans switching from Christmas and New Year following three years of poor early season snowfall.
Operators are seeing a shift to late season bookings and have warned agents not to leave it too late to encourage clients to book as availability in snow-sure resorts is likely to be scarce.
Easter falls late this year in the second week of April and some UK school two-week holiday periods actually fall after the end of the season for ski operators.
Neilson, whose season ends on April 15, said Easter demand has been good but there are “pockets of availability” left for departure airports in the south and north.
Ian Davis, head of winter operations at Neilson, said: “Due to this season’s departure days over Christmas and New Year, some families have waited until Easter for their annual ski trip.
“Those who have are in a good position as the snow has arrived a little later, the current conditions are great and the past few years have shown good snow depths in the late season.
“Even better, the longer days and warmer conditions are great for lazy lunches and apres ski as the sun sets.”
Specialist ski agent Richard Sinclair, founder of www.sno.co.uk, said he has been promoting the advantages of late season skiing to the “huge numbers” of people have switched from Christmas to Easter.
“Personally, April has become my favourite time to ski, because I love the social and sight-seeing as much as the actual skiing,” he said.
“You get great conditions in the morning and warm afternoons are a great excuse to go hard on the slopes until a late lunch, and then sunbathe with good company and good beer in the afternoon while claiming it’s too slushy after 2pm.”
Richard’s selling tips
“Manage expectations” about likely snow conditions in April, although the weather is often ideal for family groups with children and beginners.
Late bookers should consider driving to the Alps as it is the flights that sells out, not the accommodation.
Clients should be warned they risk missing out entirely if they hold out for a late deal.
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