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French Ski Resorts Reported to be ‘Back to Normal’

Bookings are almost at pre-pandemic levels according to a new report.  PlanetSKI has been on the slopes of France and can report it has been busy over the February holiday period. UPDATED

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The report comes from the holiday firm PAP Vacances.

It claims booking are up 88% on last winter when the ski lifts were mainly closed, but resort facilities opened to a degree.

More importantly it says bookings are up 8.2% on 2020 when Covid-19 struck.

It found that bookings were almost back to pre-pandemic levels.

Resorts in the Alps account for almost 65% of ski holidays taken and they were 5% below their 2020 levels.

The Pyrenees accounts for much of the rest and reports a 70% increase.

“With no testing required to enter France, there has been a large surge in bookings again in the last few weeks,” said Zac Brown from Ski France.

“There seems to be great appetite to get away this spring.

“At Ski France, nearly all of our chalets and hotels have been fully booked for March, with just a few left remaining towards the end of the Month, but they are booking up quickly.

“In resort, for those who are vaccinated, life is almost back to normal, with very few restrictions remaining.

“We’re thrilled to have so many skiers and snowboarders back in the French Alps.”

Image c/o Ski France

PlanetSKI was in Morzine and Les Gets during the main French holiday period in February – the slopes and restaurants were busy.

Morzine. Image © PlanetSKI

Morzine. Image © PlanetSKI

Resort officials told us that the period the following week, when the British half term took place, was also busy and things were very much back to normal.

It is welcome news after a poor start to the winter as the omicron variant spread and France introduced tough restrictions for British visitors with the border closed.

“Xmas was pretty catastrophic as we are heavily reliant on British visitors and they were unable to come,” said Sara Burdon from the Morzine tourist office to PlanetSKI.

Sara Burdon, Morzine Tourist Office. Image © PlanetSKI

Sara Burdon, Morzine Tourist Office. Image © PlanetSKI

“We were helped by the French and the Dutch coming.”

Now though things are very different with an excellent February for Morzine.

“It’s great to have Morzine busy and buzzing again,” added Sara Burdon.

“The full entertainment and events programme is back on and accommodation is full over the holidays.

“Bookings are looking very good for the rest of the season as skiers are keen to take advantage of the ease in restrictions and get back to their much loved Morzine.”

It was similar in neighbouring Les Gets.

Les Gets/Morzine. Image © PlanetSKI

Les Gets/Morzine. Image © PlanetSKI

And there were crowds and queues in La Rosiere when we visited the following week

La Rosiere, France. Image © PlanetSKI

La Rosiere, France. Image © PlanetSKI

Marlene Giacometti, Director of Les Menuires Tourist Office adds:

“We have had a busy two weeks of French and UK holidays and it is heartening to see our villages and lifts being enjoyed by so many people.

“We are back to normal capacity, at least 95% of our usual figures, and we are looking forward to having a successful March; and with skiing right through to the 23rd April, we have at least 8 weeks left to enjoy Les Menuires and St Martin de Belleville”

See here for an earlier PlanetSKI story from Les Menuires:

Les Menuires. Image © PlanetSKI

Les Menuires. Image © PlanetSKI

Interestingly the Massif Central mountain region has seen strong growth.

There are 32% more holiday bookings compared to 2021 and 89% more than 2020.

In part this is due to the rising costs in the Alps, but also last winter many people took to cross country skiing and snow-shoeing.

The area actively promotes these activities and it comes in at a fraction of the price of a holiday in the main resorts of the Alps and the Pyrenees.

UK operators continue to report strong sales for late skiing and snowboarding in France as Covid -19 restrictions ease and we move into a world of post-pandemic skiing.

Here at PlanetSKI we will be updating this article with information from some of the UK operators that sell holidays in France.

It will be interesting to see their position.

Do check back…..

Image © PlanetSKI

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