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France 'claims' ski boom
Monday January 5, 2009 - Email this article to a friend

Good snow has apparently led to an increase in people skiing over Xmas.

French ski resorts are reporting a boom in business according to the Protourisme market analysis group.

"We are having an excellent start to the season," said Didier Arino, manager of Protourisme. "Since the end of November, there has a been double-digit jump in the number of bookings."

Resorts were 75 percent full over Christmas and between 85 and 90 percent booked over New Year.

However here at PlanetSKi we are not so sure.

Is spending up or down?Is spending up or down?You could also read the figures as saying that a quarter of the beds were unfilled over Xmas, traditionally one of the busiest times of the winter season. 

Equally New Year is often fully booked out.

We are trying to get some accurate and impartial information on how the skiing industry is dealing with the credit crunch and the dramatic fall in the value of sterling.

We hope to bring you that report later in the week.

But out here in the Alps some resorts do not appear to be as busy as last winter and bookings for the rest of the winter are not too healthy.

Some ski schools have less business and many people are being cagey about how they are doing.

However, Eric Balet the Director of Verbier's lift company, Téléverbier, said there was a 33 per cent increase in the number of skiers and boarders hitting the Four Valleys slopes over the last week of 2008.

Large queues in VerbierLarge queues in VerbierThe lift queue at the bottom of the main lift, the Medran, this week certainly bears out the figures.

"It's an all-time record for a week – a turnover of SFr4 million ($3.63 million)," Balet told Swiss radio. "It's quite exceptional and can be explained by the very good weather and snow conditions."

If you want to save some money eating out in Verbier take a look at this question & answer in our Ask PlanetSKI section.

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