Deals fuel Japan ski hopes

Deals fuel Japan ski hopes
By admin

Wholesalers of Japanese ski product have predicted a bumper season in 2012/13, with many expecting bookings to exceed pre-earthquake highs as resorts inject deals into the market.

In a discussion at yesterday’s Japan Snow and Adventure Seminar in Sydney, Ski Japan managing director Peter Murphy said the firm had seen a “burst of bookings” over the last three months and forecast the year would exceed 2010 levels by 10%.

He confirmed Honshu ski resorts, particularly those in Tohoku, had suffered most in the wake of last year’s earthquake but predicted they would bounce back over the coming ski season.

“We have added more brochure pages for Honshu this year so we expect Honshu to rebound,” he said.

Deep Powder director Glenn Goulding also reported bookings currently substantially higher than “any previous year”.

“Resorts have taken the initiative to do promotions and they are having an effect – it’s the first time Japan has offered them,” he said.

These promotional fares were influencing where Australians were choosing to spend their ski holiday, Liquid Snow Tours director Quentin Nolan agreed.

He revealed the firm’s customers, which traditionally favoured Honshu resorts such as Hakuba, were now opting increasingly for resorts such as Niseko.

“I can only put that down to the specials,” he said, stressing the need for accommodation owners to collaborate on promotional deals.

Airfares were also helping the recovery, according to Stephen Kelso of Trans Orbit, on average 30% lower than the previous year.

“They’ve really helped the market bounce back,” he said.

The strength of the Australian dollar has also played into consumers hands, Kelso added.

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