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Europe is covered in snow: Ski resorts opened the winter season ahead of schedule

European ski resorts are reporting an early start to the winter season, thanks to heavy snowfalls. More than a meter of snow has fallen on some slopes over the past week, creating excellent conditions for winter sports. Travel companies are aimed at servicing the growing flow of tourists arriving abnormally early for their winter holidays.

The Alps have recently seen a sharp drop in temperatures and heavy snowfall, providing a solid foundation for the new ski season. Popular alpine destinations such as Crans-Montana in Switzerland, France’s La Plaine and Chamonix, and St. Anton am Arlberg in Austria are expected to see up to 50cm of snow cover next week, Ski Solutions said.

Heading into the new season, resorts have seen an increase in bookings fueled by exceptional ski conditions. And carriers are ready to offer some promotions in response to increased demand. For example, the British low-cost airline Jet2 offered a 10 percent discount on flights to some ski destinations in the winter.

The incredible weather conditions have prompted some ski resorts to revise their opening dates, announcing them a week earlier. So, the following popular ski spots in Europe have already opened:

  • The Austrian resorts of Kitzbühel and Sölden opened two weeks earlier, and a 60-kilometer vertical skiing area for sports fans is already ready there.
  • In Italy and France, the opening date of the winter season was scheduled for November 18. Unlike last year, this season a total of 1,300 meters of slopes will be available for skiing in the resort of Tignes in France, for example.
  • Nine areas of Switzerland are already open, including Davos, Zermatt, and Verbier, with the latter opening three weeks earlier.

While the changes provide short-term benefits for skiers and ski resorts, they are also part and parcel of a larger conversation about climate change, climate scientists have warned. Many ski resorts, especially at lower altitudes, are suffering from the threat of lack of snow, which puts their future in question.

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