Saturday, January 29, 2022

Ski sales rise as France signs end of travel ban said it saw an “immediate” increase in searches and bookings for ski flights to France following the announcement by the French government.

Steve Heppy, chief executive of and Jet2holidays, said: “The bookings for ski flights have been both fast and immediate.

“Snow conditions in the French Alps are said to be excellent, which means our customers are jumping at their chance to get back downhill.”

Estelle Giroudeau, Club Med’s managing director, UK and Northern Europe, said the lifting of France’s travel ban has “saved the weather”.

“After two years off the slopes, the Brits are desperate to get back into some of the most loved ski domains in France and Europe – and this is the last hurdle that has to be removed,” Giroudeau said.

“Since the lifting of the ban was announced this morning, Club Med has seen a 60% increase in web traffic and a 650% increase on Google Trends today for ‘French travel restrictions’ as well.”

Some in the industry acknowledged that the past few days were tough, as there was speculation that French officials would eventually lift the month-long ban on holidaymakers in Britain.

Diane Palumbo, Director of Sales and Marketing at Skyworld and Board Member of Seasonal Business at Travel (Sbit), explained ttg: “The last few days have been torture for us and our skiers. Many people want to travel and yet leaving the announcement so late has made it impossible for many to make the arrangements they need.

“But this is the news we’ve been waiting for and with the changes made by the UK government over the past weekend, travel is far more straightforward – and it will ignite the demand we know.”

Ski France’s group commercial director Joanna Laforge said some customers who canceled their trip to France this weekend are trying to get their bookings restored.

“We are excited to welcome people from the UK back to the Alps this weekend, there is fresh snow, the sun is shining and the conditions are just right.”

Sister brands Inghams and Esprit Skis will also resume the winter sports holidays in France from January 22.

Joe Ponte, chief executive of operators owned by Hotelplan, said: “With France being our premier Esprit family holiday destination and generally accounting for about a third of Ingmes’ winter schedule, the latest update from the French government means “Finally, many skiers and snowboarders hoping to enjoy the French slopes with us this winter will be able to do so.”

While Pierre & Vacans said it had “mobilized” its reservations and admin teams to help customers wishing to rebook trips to France departing on Saturday (January 15).

Cathy Rankin, UK and Ireland sales director at Groupe Pierre & Vacans, said: “We would also suggest that those who need a little delay to reorganize their stay consider departing on 5 February Where the discount is up to 20%.”

Andy Sturt, managing director of VIP Ski, said the operator has continued to remain open at its French resorts during the past few weeks.

“Local COVID restrictions – masks in lift queues and bubbles, showing your NHS pass at restaurants – have proven to be no deterrent to enjoying a ski holiday,” Sturt said.

“The snow base is excellent, especially at altitude and the easing of UK COVID regulations means it is easier than it was before the travel ban.

“We are positive that there is much to look forward to this season and in response to demand many of our high altitude properties will be open for a week longer than usual to make the most of the snowpack.”

Nation World News Desk
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