The French Government Tourist Office is reporting good early ski holiday sales and is hoping to replicate last year's excellent figures.

According to the 'Ski Industry Report 2008' published by Crystal Holidays, the ski market as a whole is showing strong early bookings, despite the global financial crisis. France continues to hold the dominant position in the market with 37.5 per cent, followed by Austria with 21 per cent.

Jean-Pierre Courteau, UK director of Maison de la France, says: "French ski resorts are investing a lot of money to improve their accommodation and to offer skiers a greener environment - these improvements should help France to keep its pole position with British skiers."

Many French resorts have invested in accommodation for the coming winter season with brand new hotels opening in [R106R, Chamonix], [R117R, Courchevel], [R1305R, Les Arcs], [R1085R, Megeve], [R600R, Tignes], and [R483R, Val d'Isere].

Sustainable tourism projects are also high on the agenda this year. Montgenevre's ski lift company has achieved the triple QSE (quality, security, environment) certification, and is now the first European resort to conform to international credentials.

Cheap direct transport between the UK and France is another incentive for British skiers. The development of the low-cost carrier network means there are now more flights from UK regional airports to the Alps and Pyrenees, allowing skiers direct access to the resorts.