European rail operators are being urged to help expand door-to-door train services to French ski resorts from London, Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam.
The appeal for tenders comes from resort operator Compagnie des Alpes, which wants more rail links to open to the Alps for winter 2024-25.
Read more: How can I get to the ski resorts in France?
Lack of trains and reduced seat numbers
The firm owns 10 ski areas, including Les Arcs, Tignes and Méribel, and has been offering door-to-door ski holidays from London and Paris for two years, including train transport to Bourg-Saint-Maurice, Savoie.
It said it carried 12,000 customers last year, despite not being able to run the Paris route due to a lack of trains, and facing reduced seat numbers and dates on the London route.
The firm wants European rail operators to offer trains for up to two weekly journeys between mid-December and mid-April.
It is in partnership talks with other tourism operators looking to take advantage of these potential routes.
0.5% of French skiers get to resorts by train
As well as encouraging people to visit French ski resorts, rather than go to Switzerland, Austria and Italy, Compagnie des Alpes said the additional train routes would reduce the industry’s carbon footprint.
It said fewer than 0.5% of the nine million French people visiting the Alps annually travelled by train and 80% of the more than one million British skiers travelled by plane.
Early opening for some ski resorts
Some ski resorts have opened slopes earlier this year thanks to unusually good snow conditions, with the cross-country skiing tracks at Bessans, Savoie, being the first, on November 4, followed by Tignes and Val Thorens on November 18.
The rest of the country’s ski stations are set to open this month.