Easter bookings boom as restrictions ease and previously disappointed skiers rebook
Easter is shaping up to be busy at ski resorts, with tour operators and ski travel agencies reporting a sales boom as restrictions ease and traveler confidence returns.
“Easter has just become a real treat for those wanting to hit the slopes, with the government today (February 11) removing the need for Covid testing on returning to the UK. This has not only reduced the cost of holidays to skiing, which is already competitive in April, but the requirement for less testing makes travel much easier and less cumbersome for vaccinated skiers,” said Laura Hazell, Sales and Marketing Director for Brighton-based Ski. .
Some companies are reporting skiers who were unable to travel to France when Britons were locked out over Christmas and New Years for Easter, others are reporting people who booked for Easter 2020 in the first month of the pandemic, then held their reservations until 2021 and again held their reservations until next April, are looking forward to finally hitting the Easter slopes for the first time in three years.
Then there are only bookings from people who don’t fit any of the above categories, but have been waiting for the chance to get back on the slopes.
“Easter is very busy, much busier than normal as many of our December customers who were unable to go went to Easter instead. Also it is the French and Belgian holidays for the week of the 7th and of 9, so there is still a lot less availability than normal for this time of year. Everyone is mega confident now in France, Europe and the UK about the rest of the season. Every uncertainty of Covid seems to have been lifted, ”commented Xavier Schouller, boss of Peak Retreats.
The busiest week currently seems to be April 2n/awith more availability remaining from April 9and.
“Pierre & Vacances have been delighted to welcome Britons back to France in general, and indeed a number of customers who were disappointed in December and January have rebooked for the March and April dates, on April 2 being nearly full already,” said Cathy Rankin, Sales. UK/IE Director, adding “However, for clients looking for a spring ski break, who have not yet booked, there is more availability than expected in the week of 9th April due to the conflict with the upcoming French presidential elections, and therefore more French customers stay at home to vote!
One of the UK’s biggest tour operators, Inghams, has extended its program for a further week until April 16 in response to demand.
Others say travel even later in April if you can,
“We can see a really positive attitude for the return to the slopes, helped by the easing of general restrictions in France (apres ski resumes next week). Most people have booked very early for April because holidaymakers hadn’t been able to ski for two years!” said Joanna Laforge, commercial director of Ski France, who added: “Since France has reopened in the UK, bookings for the end of the season have really exploded, but we still have late availability in chalets and hotels for those who want to come.In order for customers to take full advantage of this season, our Hotel-Spa Le Mottaret, in Méribel, is open until the very last day of the season, closing on Sunday April 23, so people can enjoy spring skiing in the 3 Valleys until the last minute.”
Pic top credit St Anton