When do you advise people book?
Never has it been more important to book early, especially if you want to travel during the school holidays, or are trying to secure something for a group of friends or multiple families. We have lost a whole winter season, and most of those bookings have rolled over to next year, so there will be acute pressure on availability, especially over peak school holiday dates.
If you’re worried about committing to a holiday given the current Covid-19 uncertainty, make sure you book a package with an ATOL bonded provider who can offer you flexibility to change your plans. Our ‘Book with Confidence’ policy gives complete protection of monies and the ability to change your departure date or destination at the point you pay your final balance for your holiday. In the autumn, we expect to have more information about what lies ahead for the winter season.
Are bars and restaurants expected to reopen?
Yes, we expect them to be open next winter. As for après ski, it’s too early to say. A return to the raucous, ‘dancing on the bar in your ski boots’ experience might be a stetch for next season, but we expect there to be fewer restrictions placed on outdoor venues.
And what about ski schools?
By next winter, we expect ski schools to be operating as normal. If you prefer not to mix in group lessons, then hiring your own instructor or mountain guide for the week is something to consider.
Will travellers be expected to isolate on arrival?
As far as our company is concerned, no. As wonderful as our hotels, chalets and apartments are, our clients travel with us to ski. If you have to isolate on arrival, that’s not a ski holiday. We won’t operate where there is a requirement to isolate on arrival.
How have you adapted in light of the Covid-19 restrictions?
We have innovated our products, such as contactless catered chalets, to ensure guests are able to have more space and enjoy their holiday in a safe environment. More generally, all travel businesses have had to adapt to an environment with less certainty than ever before. For our clients, we’ve made sure we have greater flexibility around bookings.
Are there any advantages to booking through a ski company?
There are numerous advantages. First, there’s a greater level of financial protection. When booking your next trip, look out for the ABTA and ATOL logos on company websites. When you book a financially protected package with a UK operator, much of the risk from things like Covid-19 sit with the operator, not with you. If the operator can’t take you on holiday safely, you have a right to change your booking, or ask for a refund. If you book with a specialist ski operator, you’ll also get the benefit of their expertise and support. Look for a company with genuine experience.
Real experts should be able to tell you how far the hotel is to the chairlift (while carrying three pairs of children’s skis) and which mountain restaurant in your resort has the most interesting wine list. Of course, you then have their support at the end of the phone from the moment you book until you get home. Operators will be able to help you with pre-departure enquiries, flight changes, and information on ski guides, plus they’ll be on hand to help with any Covid-related issues, like getting you home quickly if a country suddenly goes into lockdown.