French ski bookings up with snow aplenty in the Alps
Ski slopes set to be busier than last year as early snow falls encourage higher bookingsPARIS, December 18, 2007 (AFP) - France's ski slopes are set to be busier than last year as early snow falls encourage higher bookings than last year,
according to an industry spokesmen and a study released Tuesday.
"The French were deprived of snow last year, they are catching up this
winter," said Eric Muller of an association that groups the mayors of resort
"The season is off to a good start, the snow is on the ground, but the
weather can change very quickly in the mountains," he added.
After a slow start, reservations for the Christmas week had exceeded those
for 2006 thanks to the early snow showers, said a study by the national
observatory for mountain ski resorts (OSM).
Occupation rates for the Christmas week were expected to be more than 50
percent up on 2006 in all resorts except for the southern Alps which recorded
the same rate as the previous year, the study said.
"There are still places, but last-minute reservations have been on the
increase since the major snow falls," Christian Mantei from the goverment's
tourism observatory told reporters.
Bookings for the New Year week were also up, said the OSM study, but
reservations for January and early February in most resorts were down on last
year at this stage.
The OSM study surveyed 58 French ski resorts between December 3 and 9.