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Good February in France, But Not Another Record Breaker
Monday, 15 March 2004
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Resorts Report More Eastern Europeans, Fewer Brits and Dutch.

Business figures for all French ski areas, even those at lower altitudes, are reported to be good for the crucial February holiday period according to stats from the French lift operators society.

According to Jean - Charles Simiand, the society’s Chief Executive, "Activity was good up to Christmas because of low-altitude snow, but disappointing in January. It was good again in February however, without reaching the record of February 2003."

Last season French lift companies brought in a record 931 million Euros, up 14.6% on the previous year.

Mr. Simiand reported that lodging figures were up more than ticket sales, stating that successive weekends of bad weather at certain points in the season to date were largely to blame. Last season French ski areas enjoyed almost two months of non-stop good weather. This season’s sales stats are only a few percent below last year’s record in many cases. The rest of the season looks good with large snowbases across the nation.

The lift operators note constant growth since 1995 and stated that those predicting “the end of snow” are so far completely wrong.

Val Thorens reports business down by 5% overall to date, but was keen to stress that available bed numbers are also down, due to a renovation program, which the local tourist board believes accounts for the drop.

At Chamonix bookings are up around 5% but lift ticket purchases static, meaning more non-skiing guests

Across France resorts are reporting a decrease in visitors from the UK and the Netherlands, but an increase in skiers and boarders from “the new bourgeois class” of the countries in Eastern Europe, and maybe one day by the Chinese.



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