Reaction to French Travel Ban for Skiers & Snowboarders
16th December 2021
Last modified on December 20th, 2021
We have reaction from skiers, resorts, UK tour operators and local businesses in the French mountains that will be impacted. Some have described it as a ‘hammer blow’ with most angry and bewildered.
Reaction has been swift and universal.
Hotelplan UK that operates Inghams and Esprit Ski is cancelling all ski holidays to France until early January.
“Following the news that people travelling from the UK are only allowed to enter France for essential travel reasons, we’ve made the decision to suspend all Inghams and Esprit departures to France up to and including the 4th January 2022,” said the Hotelplan UK CEO, Joe Ponte.
“We are hugely disappointed for our customers looking forward to a ski holiday in France in the coming weeks.
“However, without clarity on when the latest entry restrictions into France will end, it is sadly the right decision.
“For those customers impacted, we hope they will choose to join us for their holiday at a later date, but if not, they will be offered a refund.
“While we monitor the situation closely, we’re hopeful that our departures after 4th January 2022 will be able to go ahead as planned—and we’re in touch with our customers currently in French resorts, and at this time, advising them to continue to enjoy their holiday as planned.
“We’d like to thank our customers and partners for their patience throughout these changing times.
“We would also like to reassure everyone planning to travel with us that we intend to continue do the right thing by our customers.”
PlanetSKI readers have been continuing to react.
“This announcement has absolutely demolished a family trip that was 2 years in the making, with family already in transit to the resort from Asia,” said Alexander Richardson-Hall.
“I have spent nearly 24 hours trying to find a resolution… I don’t even know why I’m writing this, but it’s a lousy decision that will do little to protect France from the spread of omicron.
“It’s already in country, and all travellers are vaccinated, boosted, tested or sometimes all three. Retribution for shitty British politics? Probably.
“Devastating for families and the French tourist industry? Definitely. Protecting France against omicron? Definitely not.”
Helena Dillon: “Alexander Richardson-Hall 100% agree. If this were about Omicron, the whole of Europe would be shutting down and not allowing freedom of movement. So sorry that you have been affected by this shower of shit. We as a family will certainly be bearing this decision in mind for our future spending power… we love France but…”
Neil Phillips: “Boycott France!!! Let’s go to Austria, Switzerland, Andorra,Germany, Bulgaria.”
There is further reaction from PlanetSKI readers lower down this article.
We reported the French announcement in this story on PlanetSKI with full details of the new rules:
“Today France decided to restrict entry from the UK as of midnight on the night of 17th (11pm GMT),” said a statement from the French resort of Morzine on Thursday.
“Non-French nationals or residents will need a compelling reason to travel to France.
“This does not include tourism.
“Sadly until this changes British skiers will not be able to visit France.
“Morzine is saddened by this news and looks forward to welcoming British skiers once rules change.”
PlanetSKI reader James Salaman was due to be heading to Morzine this weekend.
“Family of 20 was just in the last rigmaroles of planning our trip, leaving Sunday morning via Geneva, it’s all cancelled now and Christmas will be a huge downgrad,” said James.
“We love Christmas in Morzine and are sad for all those massively effected by this knee jerk reaction. Double Vax’d, boosted and tested … surely that’s enough to allow the economy to continue ?!”
— Les 3 Vallées (@3Vallees_france) December 17, 2021
UK tour operators are now cancelling ski holidays to France.
“We’ve had to cancel our holidays to France on the 21st December, 28th December and 4th January,” said Crystal Ski Holidays, the UK’s largest ski tour operator.
“We understand the huge disappointment this will cause. We know customers have been looking forward to their trip to the mountains with friends and family and we’ve emailed all customers with a re-booking incentive.
“For customers that have already purchased their testing packages, please contact your supplier directly to make any changes.
“We’ll continue to monitor the situation for future departures.
“For customers due to travel 3rd January to 31st January that want to change their holiday can do so up to 14 days before their departure with our Crystal Holiday Promise.
“For customers due to travel 1st February onwards that want to change their holiday can do so up to 28 days before their departure with our Crystal Holiday Promise.”
Agents and operators are dealing with a high number of enquiries.
The CEO of the Travel Association – ABTA, Mark Tanzer, said the measures are a “hammer blow”.
“The winter sports and school travel markets are particularly exposed, and the government must now bring forward a support package if we are not to see company failures and job losses,” he said.
There has been further reaction from skiers and snowboarders whose holiday plans have been dashed.
“So gutted we won’t get our Christmas holiday, but feel even worse for those whose livelihood this will impact on,” said PlanetSKI reader, Amy Whiles.
“We seem to time every attempt at a holiday just wrong, this is holiday attempt number 4 cancelled since the pandemic began.”
“We have just lost ours too but I really feel sad for all the employees over there and the losses the chalet companies will make …. Again,” said reader, Michelle Ryall.
There has been further reaction on the PlanetSKI Facebook page.
Local businesses that cater to the British market will be severely affected.
“Gutting news this morning,” said the Chamonix branch of the British Alpine Ski & Snowboard School, BASS on Thursday.
“We feel so sorry for all who will not be able to travel and enjoy our wonderful mountains. Thank you too for the wishes and concern for businesses.
“This is very hard for us to take in and it will have unfortunate consequences for businesses.
“Here at British Alpine Ski & Snowboard School we will push forwards, stay positive and hope that someday soon you can return to the alps to ski with us.”
Businesses will now have to refund their customers and it will be a severe blow to all.
“With Intersport whether you’re going to France Austria or Switzerland you will get a full refund directly back to the card or account that you made the booking with,” said the International Marketing Manager at Intersport, Chris Moran, to PlanetSKI.
“No voucher, no credit just your money back to you. And we are so so sorry that all of this is happening.”
Travelski Express has also reacted to the news.
“Following this morning’s announcement from the French Government, effectively stopping all non-essential travel from the UK into France, Travelski is having to cancel all guests arriving from the UK (covering the period 17th December to 7th January).
“This also includes the first two rotations of the Travelski Express on 26th December and 1st January.
“All clients booked are being contacted by e-mail and offered a full refund, or a chance to rebook their ski holiday for later in the season.”
“Guests can rest assured that the situation is being closely monitored and we will be operating our full range of ski holidays, including the Travelski Express, as soon as restrictions allow us to do so in a safe manner.”
See here for an earlier PlanetSKI story on Travelski Express:
Here at PlanetSKI we will be updating this news story with further reaction so do check back for the latest…
We do our very best at PlanetSKI to ensure the information provided here is as complete and up-to-date as possible. However, please be aware that we assume no liability in this respect. Information provided by PlanetSKI should be checked with the official information provided by the authorities. The situation regarding travel warnings and local rules changes quickly.