A skiing season in 2020/2021?

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

A few days ago, VIP Ski went bust. About 10,000 people went on skiing or winter holidays with them each year.

Val Thorens is closed – as are all French ski resorts – until December 1st due to the pandemic.
Image – Office de Tourisme de Val Thorens

Then it was announced that some of the biggest ski brands have curtailed their activities this winter. Esprit Ski has cancelled all its activities whilst sister companies, Inghams, Ski Total and Flexiski have drastically reduced the number of chalets and hotels that they offer.

Even before this coming season the Ski Club of Great Britain had been seeing a decline in the number of memberships and I understand renewals haven’t been as hoped for but that is understandable.

Other ski companies are feeling the pinch as well.

In a week when the World Ski Awards were announced, skiing itself is under the spotlight. The industry, according to the Awards, sees an estimated 400 million skier visits taking place each year to more than 2,500 ski resorts which are home to over 6 million hotel beds.

But how they fare this year will be of more concern to all ski organisations not just winners like Europe’s highest ski resort, Val Thorens, which was voted the  ‘World’s Best Ski Resort’  or Switzerland’s LAAX, named ‘World’s Best Freestyle Resort’.

Ski Dubai which collected the ‘World’s Best Indoor Ski Resort’ might have a longer shelf life than traditional outdoor resorts but even after the UAE-London travel corridor opened this week it will be wondering how many skiers it will see in the next few months.

It would seem that domestic skiing in places like Austria, France, Northern Italy, Bulgaria, Romania, Switzerland and Andorra will still be feasible unless there are local lockdowns but whether there will be international travel is another matter.

At present governments seem more concerned with allowing some freedom around Christmas. Any other loosening of national and local rules would seem to be less likely. But given changes that seem to occur quickly and without a great deal of warning, those who are considering skiing holidays should probably consider making a last minute decision.

Those seeking a late skiing holiday might stand a better chance of being able to holiday, as by March, vaccines may be in place.

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