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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Skiing more popular than ever despite credit crunch

lastminute.com experiences a record number of ski bookings for this winter season
The ski holiday appears to be immune to credit crunch with leading online travel and leisure retailer lastminute.com revealing a record number of people will be on the piste this winter.
lastminute.com’s ski bookings are up a whopping 68% on last year, with bookings being made from as early as May – a full five months before the ski booking seasons gets in to full swing.
Non-Euro zone destinations are really benefiting from the Pound's poor exchange rate with the Euro, with Bulgaria and Scandinavian resorts – particularly those in Norway – seeing large year on year bookings increases. 
lastminute.com puts the record number of bookings down to the importance skiers place on the hitting the slopes.
In many cases, the ski holiday is the event of the year for regular skiers. These holidays often involve large groups of friends and family and are usually planned way in advanced and talked about until the following year’s holiday.
Furthermore, lastminute.com believes more first time skiers are donning their salopettes as they look for a reason to escape fears of a recession in the UK.
Skiers may be refusing to give up their time on the slops despite the doom and gloom surrounding the economy. However, the credit crunch is having an impact on where people go skiing with better value destinations proving even more popular than ever before. 
Bookings for Bulgaria - the best value European ski destination - are up a massive 30% as skiers look to get more snow for their Pounds. Bulgaria is also benefiting from being outside the Euro-zone and the more advantageous exchange rate with the Bulgarian Lev.
Booking for ski breaks in the US have also increased by 40%.
Meanwhile, bookings to the St Anton resort in Austria have increased by an impressive 21%, while Tignes, Flaine and Chamonix in France all recording bookings increases.
lastminute.com Sales Director Andy Washington said: “Skiers value their time on the slopes so much they were never going to let the credit crunch stop them from enjoying the snow.
“Bulgaria and the US ski resorts are really benefiting from being outside the Euro zone as skiers look for the best value holidays. 
“lastminute.com is delighted to see ski bookings up by almost half with bookings starting from as early as May . Now the main ski booking season is underway we expect the level of bookings to continue.”

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