Friday, 6 November 2015

Ski, winter sun deals may be in short supply

Whether winter sun on skiing in your sight, don't rely on getting a late bargain. Unless there is sudden and sustained early snowfall in the Alps there will continue to be some discounted ski holidays at Christmas. But intelligence from the travel industry suggests that an early Easter - Good Friday is on March 25 - will make them unlikely after that, creating a concertina effect in breeding weeks. Of course, there will always be the odd price cut at the last minute but it seems clear that this season won't yield a vintage crop. There are unlikely to be as many winter sun bargains as usual either - but for different reasons. Tunisia was already off the agenda after this year's terrorist attacks at the Bardo Museum and in Sousse. Even assuming this week's decision by the British  Government to effectively ground flights by UK airlines to Sharm El Sheikh is rescinded quickly it seems likely some holidaymakers will seek to switch to other destinations. Several other countries' airlines, including Irish and Russian operators and those belonging to the Lufthansa Group, also suspended services there. (Russian are currently unable to fly anywhere in Egypt). Whether travellers who have already booked packages will want to change their plans - and the attitude of tour operators if they do - remained to be seen at the time of writing. But there's little doubt that some independent travellers will be deterred, adding pressure on hotel capacity in other popular winter destinations such as the Canary Islands. And while the winter market for Tunisia is different, the virtual shutdown of tourism there following this year's terrorist attacks at the Bardo Museum and in Sousse will only add to that pressure. So, to recap, you might still get a late deal between now and spring - but don't bet your house on it.

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