Ski holidaymakers from the UK are defying Brexit and spending on winter trips, Club Med claims.

The all inclusive operator has seen a 39% rise in online bookings for the coming winter season over this time last year with the number of new customers increasing by a third.

New data released by the company today (Tuesday) shows that one in five (22%) are booking destinations outside Europe.

The US and Canada are top of the wish-list for 61%, followed by Japan (20%) and China (17%).

Traditional European destinations still top the list, with up and coming countries like Bulgaria, Croatia and Solvenia gaining prominence.

Almost half (48%) of people considering skiing are aged over 45 while a quarter are aged 55-plus, according to Club Med’s annual winter ski report.

The study found that 68% of respondents describe ski holidays are now more accessible to a wider demographic.

British skiers describe a ski holiday as way for them to switch off, escape everyday life (93%) and clear the mind (86%).

More than two thirds (68%) also view skiing as relaxing, and two thirds (68%) say the availability of spa and wellness facilities is important to them. As many as 59% of ski parties in the last two years included at least one non-skier.

Club Med UK, Ireland and Scandinavia managing director Estelle Giraudeau said: “It’s very encouraging to find that ski continues to be a very buoyant market, contrary to initial consumer worries following Brexit.

“These findings very much reflect the health of the Club Med business, which at the start of the 2016/17 season has already seen an 10% increase across all channels and a further 33% rise in new clients.

“The report finds that skiers are exploring further afield destinations, which is also very positive for our business. Club Med is already underway with resort developments in exciting new markets including both Japan and China.”