COVID 19 AND START OF SKI SEASON
CONFINEMENT & CLOSURE OF SKI RESORTS AT THE BEGINNING OF THE WINTER SEASON
HOW WILL THE RESORTS BE ORGANISED ?
Following the speech of the French Republic President announcing the new re-containment measures, the high-altitude resorts had to be quickly closed, some of which were freshly opened.
For the others that had already scheduled their opening in mid-November or at the end of the month, like Val-d’Isère, they will not be able to open as initially planned.
New measures which are therefore already affecting some resorts and which will not be without consequences.
In this already complicated situation, the big question is whether or not our ski resorts will be able to open by the Christmas school holidays.
Added to this is the fact that no restaurants will be able to open before January 15th. A problematic situation for many mountain professionals, including altitude restaurants.
LACK OF VISIBILITY ON THE OPENING OF RESORTS BEFORE THE END OF YEAR HOLIDAYS
It’s hard to know when and how the resorts will be allowed to open.
As our government has announced, the lockdown will last at least until December 1st. The authorities must acknowledge the situation every 15 days in order to adapt health measures according to the evolution of the virus.
It is all French resorts, 350 in total, which intend to be open at the start of the Christmas holidays : from Saturday 19th of December, only three weeks after the supposed end of this second confinement.
It is therefore very complicated, in this context, to know exactly how the winter season will unfold. Authorities fear that an influx of tourists added to ski accidents and trauma will overwhelm hospitals.
Monday, November 23, Matignon says after a videoconference meeting between the Prime Minister, professionals and elected officials of the sector, that the opening of winter sports resorts will finally be announced in ten days.
Despite this significant lack of visibility, overall our ski resorts still show maximum optimism on their websites or on social medias. Even if the uncertainty present, we feel that our French resorts want to maintain hope of being able to welcome holiday visitors for the festive season and ideally for the whole winter.
All those who live in the mountains have, for the moment, the only certainty that an extension of this confinement, or even worse, the resort’s closure would be truly deplorable.
In any case, they will do the maximum to welcome their tourists in accordance with health rules and all of their economical actors are easing their reservation and reimbursement conditions as much as possible.
STRENGTHENED SANITARY MEASURES TO WELCOME TOURISTS IN SKI STATIONS
A health protocol for the winter season is setting up: wearing a mask in the shuttles, in the ski lifts and in queues, disinfection of rental equipment, accommodation, etc.
France Montagnes* website gives more details about all of these measures : https://www.france-montagnes.com/covid-19-quel-protocole-cet-hiver-dans-les-stations-de-ski
It is the same kind of protocol as in cities, people are already used to it and, generally, play by the rules.
Regarding the disinfection of your home, you can trust your host to guarantee your safety and minimize the risk of contamination as much as possible.
National accommodation providers have implemented strict health protocols. Real estate agencies, for their part, work in accordance with national health security recommendations and are attentive to the cleaning and disinfection of housing. Finally, individuals hosts are assisted by receiving instructions through a document containing the entire cleaning and disinfection protocols.
* France Montagnes is the association bringing together the main economical actors in mountain tourism in France in order to promote the destination and its benefits nationally and internationally.
BOOKING CONDITIONS ADAPTED TO THE SITUATION
A large majority of accommodation providers, like this summer, quickly adapted to the health crisis by offering the possibility of canceling their stay for free.
Many offer free cancellation until the day before their stay, obviously related to Covid-19 and justified (confinement, administrative travel limits, etc.).
It seems that is also the case for ski passes and for ski lessons.
Even though a lot of effort is being made to adapt the cancellation policies and they are generally very reassuring, however, we strongly recommend that you review the details of the terms of your engagements before validating any reservation.
THE CHALLENGES OF A SEASON WITH A COMPLICATED START
The challenge is huge: 120,000 direct jobs depend on the opening of ski resorts and are currently at stake.
To this uncertain situation is added the worrying exponential number of cancellations of snow classes recorded in holiday centers. Some of these centers are currently without reservations and do not know if they will be able to open.
Whatever the case, the winter will be difficult, we should already expect the absence of our foreign customers, knowing that they represent around 30% of the customers of French resorts.
Forecasts following this loss of foreign tourist clientele highlight the need to conquer the French for the coming winter, as we had succeeded in doing this summer. So to help us stay positive, let’s not forget that the 2020 mountain summer season ended with increased attendance compared to 2019.
While waiting for the situation to evolve and the announcement of new government measures, we must prepare for the explosion of last-minute bookings.
Despite everything, the resorts can count on a rather loyal local and French customer base, and above all in great need of space and fresh air. Customers are somewhat reassured by the flexibility of the refund and cancellation conditions that are in place.
YOU STILL HESITATE TO BOOK IN ONE OF OUR RESORTS ?
Take the time to contact us if you have any questions regarding our conditions, our team is here to answer you. We have done everything to ensure that you have a safe holiday, so why miss out on a great ski vacation and a good dose of the outdoors?
Consult our various luxury chalets and apartments for rent in just a few clicks on our website :https://agencemermontagne.com/locations-vacances-montagne/ or directly on our booking platform: https://resa.agencemermontagne.com
We are here to help you find the accommodation you need to ensure you have a great vacation despite the situation.
Thanks to our partnership with SPORT 2000 you can also book your ski and snowboard equipment directly on the Agence Montagne platform to be more relaxed on your arrival.
Also note that our catering partner in Valloire offers you the delivery of a Savoyard formula, ideal for example, to enjoy a typical meal on the evening of your arrival and share a moment of conviviality at home in peace.
We hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you soon to the heart of our beautiful Alpine highlands.