Thousands of skiers enjoy the Catalan Pyrenees this Christmas two-week holiday
Catalan ski slopes attracted thousands of tourists this holiday season. Between the 24th December and the 9th January, heavy snow and pleasant weather conditions ensured an increase in visitors compared to this time last year. Ski-resorts in the Pyrenees contribute greatly to the tourism industry in Catalonia.
Girona/Lleida (CNA) .- In the Lleida Pyrenees, 200,000 skipasses were purchased and hotel occupation rate was 90%. In the Girona Pyrenees, the four ski resorts ended the Christmas season on a positive note. Pleasant weather conditions and heavy snow from 25 to 55 centimeters enticed snow lovers to take to the mountains. Over 100,000 skiers were recorded to have taken to the slopes at the resorts Masella, la Molina, Vallter 2000 and Vall de Núria during the Christmas holidays. The number exceeded the expected amount. Masella is the resort that totted up the most visitors with a cumulative figure of 64,500 skiers, 12% more than in 2009. La Molina however, despite having received 35,000 visitors dropped 10% compared to the year past. The two stations Vall de Núria and Vallter recorded 6,600 and 14,800 skiers.
The director of the ski resort Masella Maite Martin said that the daily amount of visitors was around 6,500 reaching 8,500 on peak days. According to Martin, this was due to the accessibility of all the 72 slopes that make up Masella's 50 kilometer grounds and the fact that all the lifts were operational. However, despite welcoming 35,000 visitors, the ski resort Molina calculated a 10% decrease compared to this time last year. Three quarters of the lifts were open-12 out of the 16- but skiers only had access to 30 kilometers of the 61 skiable slopes. The ski resorts of Vallter 2000 and Vall de Núria ended the Christmas season on a positive foot by increasing the number of skiers in relation to last season on the same dates.
In the Pyrenees in Lleida, although there was not quite as much snow as Girona, ski-resorts ended the season with higher figures than previously forecast. 9 in 10 hotels were full in the Val d'Aran county and around 200,000 ski passes were purchased, 50,000 more than in the 2008 and 2009 campaigns. The Councilor Angel Vidal said he regretted the weather conditions in December that saw snow melting as it meant some Northern ski-resorts were negatively affected.