Travel: Ski holidays on upward slope

Model Anna Henry gets ready to jet off to Bulgaria
Model Anna Henry gets ready to jet off to Bulgaria

Travel Solutions is carving a niche for itself in the winter holiday market as the only operator in Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland to offer winter ski holidays to Bulgaria

Sales of the Belfast-based Travel Solutions’ new Balkan Ski product, which was launched in May last year, are on an upward slope with a 85 per cent of the entire programme already sold out.

The mid-day Sunday departures direct from Belfast are available weekly until March 15 from £359 per person for seven nights including hotel accommodation, return flights with Jet2 from Belfast International Airport and transfers to and from Plovdiv Airport.

Already Travel Solutions managing director Peter McMinn is looking into opportunities to expand next year’s ski programme with additional departures and properties.

“Recent research carried out by the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA)* shows that the number of winter holidaymakers planning a ski break has increased by 80 per cent since 2012 which is certainly reflected in our own ski sales which have surpassed all our expectations,” said Mr McMinn.

“Skiing holidays are becoming more and more popular and Bulgaria has proved a real hit with our customers because of its excellent ski conditions, with fresh snow falling regularly, and the fact that it offers the best value for money at resorts in Europe.

“And with a mid-afternoon Sunday departure direct from Belfast, it couldn’t be easier to get there,” he added.

According to ABTA, more than 12 million people in the UK will take a winter break this year with one in five of those estimated to be are planning a winter sports holiday.

Travel Solutions’ Balkan Ski packages include a number of Bulgarian ski resorts such as Pamporovo, Borovets and Bansko and as well as the slopes, holidaymakers can also experience a wide selection of Apres ski restaurants, bars, leisure facilities, spa treatments and organised excursions.