today is Sep 27, 2022

As well as booming sales for Easter and the final month of this season, tour operators are reporting a surge in bookings for next winter as travel restrictions ease and confidence grows that, finally, next season will be more like a normal winter.

Even if things are fully normalised by next season there will still be a few hangovers from the past three pandemic winters, with some people holding over holidays they could not take to some countries at periods this winter to next. This is part of the reason why bookings are once more “above average” for this far ahead, but tour operators report this is a much smaller issue for 22-23 as it has been this winter and last, as most have now been able to take the holidays they wanted.

Leading chalet holiday operator Ski Beat say the Christmas 2022 holidays are already more than 60% booked, most of it fresh bookings rather than held-over.  “Key dates always sell well, but it is unprecedented to have so many advance bookings for Christmas. New Year and the February half term 2023 are likely to follow suit – and it’s still only March,” said Ski Beat’s Sales Marketing Director, Laura Hazell.

Even the lucky ones who skied this winter are booking ahead. “Last week saw the highest rebooking rates for half term in the history of the business,” said Richard Sinclair from SNO.

Looking at the more traditional issues with every ski season : Do UK school holiday dates clash with those of other major nations impacting availability and pushing up prices?  Are Christmas and New Year transfer days on a weekend? How late is Easter? – things are looking good according to Xavier Schouller, boss of French ski holidays specialists Peak Retreats and a long standing watcher of these factors each winter

“The good things are that Belgian holidays are not at the same time as the UK for February nor Easter. It makes a different as there is always a bit of competition for beds otherwise. The other great thing is that the first week of UK Easter holidays is outside French holidays but also outside most other European countries,” says Xavier, adding that for the February 2023 school holidays, “…the UK is split into two weeks. This helps a lot to spread the load too.”

Finally,  Xavier notes, arrival days for Christmas and New Year are much better than last year, no longer a Saturday.