Ski tour operators are seeing strong sales for European resorts next season following excellent snow falls.

Customers have been slow to book at the start of this year, say operators, while they have been waiting to see if there is was a repeat of last year’s bad snow conditions.

However, thanks to the regular and heavy snow falls in the Alps, which have left resorts boasting snow depths of more than 200cm on their upper slopes, bookings for next year are on the up. Customers though are struggling to book the holidays they want in this year’s aggressive lates market.

TUI Travel Mountain Activity Group managing director Mathew Prior said: “The demand in this year’s late season has been so great that it has been difficult to fulfil at times so already there is a strong demand for next year.”

While he would not say how much exactly bookings for next year are up by, he added many are being made by customers who are booking their 2008 ski trip as soon as they have returned from this year’s holiday.

Neilson overseas director Pip Tyler agreed the operator is seeing year-on-year growth for the next winter season although he refused to specify by exactly how much.

He added: “Because Christmas was so good for this year, people are now booking a year in advance again with confidence.”

Club Med head of sales Steve O’Loughlin added the operator is seeing double digit growth for its ski properties although this mainly thanks to a strong UK lates market. He added the operator’s winter ski 2008/09 programme will not go on sale until March 11.

Erna Low Holidays managing director Jane Bolton added the operator has seen 5% growth this year thanks to the improved snow however this is being driven by bookings for this season.

She added: “The snow’s so good people are coming back and trying to book two or three trips this season.”