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Sheffield sloping off for a white Christmas
Monday, 22 December 2003
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FED up with Sheffield, hundreds of families are chasing the winter sun or heading for the snow this Christmas. Richard Heath reports.

SHEFFIELD thrill-seekers are escaping festivities at home for a guaranteed white Christmas on the ski slopes, a leading travel agent says.
With the prospect of snow in the city on Christmas day at only 5-1, dozens of families across South Yorkshire are heading to France, Switzerland and Italy to open their presents.
Online ski and snowboarding specialists Skideals.com have revealed bookings for the festive period are 47 per cent up on those made this time last year.
"Ski holidays are now more affordable than ever and the lure of the white Christmas, rather than a damp and drizzly one at home, has become too much for holidaymakers to resist," said David Hawke, head of Skideals.
But it's not just skiers and snowboarders who are heading for the hills. Lapland in Finland is emerging as one of the 'hottest' shortbreak destinations, as holidaymakers race off to see Santa to drop off their Christmas wish-list in person.
And those who aren't tempted by the snow are heading offer to the sun.
About 65 per cent of Christmas holidaymakers fly abroad for the sun with Florida, Bangkok and Australia emerging as favourites, according online travel experts ebookers.com.
First Choice Holiday Hypermarket, at the Drakehouse Retail Park, Sheffield, has found more and more people are chasing the winter sun and heading off to the Canary Islands.
Claire Salmons, Head of World Wide Sales at the store, said: "It seems people in Sheffield will not settle for drizzle this Christmas.
"We have had many people, especially families and retired couples, booking holidays to Lanzarote and Tenerife. And those who want a really chilly Christmas are flying off for a short break in Lapland."
FACTFILE
Skideals.com has enjoyed a 47 per cent increase in bookings compared to last Christmas.
First Choice in Sheffield has found many couples and single people have booked to fly to Australia for Christmas.
The most popular local airport to fly from is East Midlands and the most popular date is December 19, according to Sheffield's First Choice.
Lapland has become increasingly popular each year during the past decade



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