Wednesday 12 December 2018

Poor snowfall in Lapland throws Irish families' Christmas trips to visit Santa into doubt

There is limited availability for Lapland breaks in the run up to Christmas
There is limited availability for Lapland breaks in the run up to Christmas
Conor McCrave

Conor McCrave

Dreams of visiting Santa in a winter wonderland have been crushed as poor snowfall in Lapland throws Irish families’ Christmas trips into doubt.

The first flights of the Christmas season from Ireland are set to go out next weekend but poor snowfall on the grounds of the Finnish resort has put a question mark over whether the promised magical experience can be still be achieved.

Travel operators are watching the weather conditions closely in hope that heavy snow will fall in the coming days.

Mary Denton, of the Sunway Holiday Group, said the situation was being monitored closely ahead of their first departures of the season next weekend. 

“Usually the place is covered in snow and obviously it’s not something we wanted but at this stage we’re just keeping an eye on it,” she said.

“I’m not overly concerned but we would like to see more snow. This hasn’t happened in a long time."

Much of the activities included in Lapland travel packages such as snowmobiling and sleigh rides require fresh snow.

“We are monitoring it daily and at the end of the day the primary concern is to deliver activities clients have bought so that’s skis, snowmobiling and that.

“And from that point of view it’s those activities that won’t happen. At this stage we are keeping an eye on it but the rest of the programme we run is in indoors."

Donegal based travel agents Atlantic Travel said it has seen huge demand in recent years for Lapland.

While there have been no cancellations to date they are also watching the weather forecast over the coming days in hope that a heavy blanket of snow might fall.

“Generally you would have snow up to the end of the November,” manager Emma McHugh said.

“In terms of the weather there is a little panic at the moment but operators are saying there is a preservation of snow and snow canons to make sure activities can happen.”

As Atlantic Travel start their packages from the September 6, the travel agent is confident the weather will take a turn for the better in time for their customers. to get their Christmas lists to Santa.

“Our first clients are going out around the 6th of September so it’s pretty early yet. We will be in touch with our suppliers in relation to any updates in terms of snowfall.

“Certainly coming closer we would be contacting clients if there is still an issue but it’s a little bit too early to be able to say what way it will go.

“At this stage there is some snow forecaster,” she added.

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