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Travel & Holiday

Maison Sport Expands

The online platform that allows you to book independent ski and snowboard instructors is branching out after raising £1.25m in new funding.

Beginner skier?  Your Questions Answered…

It can be daunting.  But that first lesson on the snow doesn’t have to be a stressful experience.  Especially with the right gear and information.

Inghams Adds Ski Total Chalets

The ski chalets of Ski Total will exclusively operate under Inghams for next winter. 

Restart of International Travel from UK Under Threat

The Transport Select Committee says a report by the Government’s Global Travel Taskforce gives “insufficient” detail to allow for travel on 17th May.

Worries Continue for Brits Wanting to Work in Alps After Brexit

The Association of British Travel Agents has stepped up its campaign to try to allow labour mobility. It says there is a possible solution to the problem.

Scotland’s Mountain Areas Open Up

Scotland is open, with a further easing of Covid-19 restrictions coming into force on Monday 26th April. The nation is an option for spring and summer holidays, but it’s come too late for the Scottish ski industry.

How to Save Money On Next Winter’s Ski Trip

The latest Ski Resort Report produced by the Post Office and Crystal Ski Holidays says skiers and snowboarders can halve their holiday costs next season by choosing carefully.

London Ski & Snowboard Festival Is Back

It’s returning to Battersea Park this October.  The new organisers are promising a ‘snow sport event like no other’.  So what’s new?

Travel Bubble for Australia and New Zealand

It bodes well for the approaching ski season Down Under and could be a model used in Europe as well to help people get to the mountains later in the summer if cases fall in Europe. No quarantine will be required.

Will We Be Able to Go to the Mountains in Europe This Summer?

Boris Johnson has unveiled a ‘traffic light’ system which could determine if, and where, we can go on holiday to the mountains this summer. Details though are in short supply & travel to the main mountain nations in Europe seems some way off.

Reaction as Summer Holidays Abroad May Be Off the Cards

Some scientists say they are unlikely to take place, politicians have not refuted the claims, the travel industry is angry and the rest of us simply wonder when and if we can go on holiday to the mountains. With predictions of variant viruses for years to come it raises the issue of skiing next winter too.

Austria Set to Introduce Vaccine Passport Next Month

The card will be for vaccinated people, those who have had the virus & people who have tested negative. It’s hoped it will help re-start tourism but much depends on whether countries will allow their citizens to visit Austria as it has rising levels of Covid-19, with only 9% of the country vaccinated.

Will We Be Able to Head to the Mountains of Europe This Summer?

Despite a hugely successful vaccine roll out in the UK it is not so in much of Europe. There is talk of vaccine passports, but with the virus mutating and spreading some say borders may be closed with tourist travel banned.

Ski Resorts Hit as New Lockdown Imposed in Parts of France

21 million people in 16 areas of France will be placed under the measures from midnight today. There areas affected include Paris and other northern cities. The lockdown will last 4-weeks. UPDATED

Norway Sees Highest Covid-19 Levels as Easter Skiing Approaches

The Norwegian government has outlined its Covid-19 guidelines for the Easter holidays. Tens of thousands of people are expected to head to cabins in the mountains as the country faces its biggest threat from the pandemic.

More Airlines Offering Vaccine Status on an App

British Airways is the latest and follows Ryan Air, plus others.  Will this mean summer travel from the UK is more likely to the mountains and other destinations?

Fancy a good ski deal for 2021/22? Look No Further…

Some Tour Operators have opened up bookings for ski holiday departures from January 2022.
Check out some of the latest offerings here including Contactless Chalets.

Where to Ski Next Winter: Norway

In our occasional series we are looking at areas to ski next winter that offer something a little bit different. Norway is one of our favourites – the Scandinavian country is most certainly not the Alps, but that’s good.

Contactless Chalets – The Shape of Things to Come?

Ski France is offering 50 so-called ‘Contactless Chalets’ across some of the major resorts in France. With Brexit rules on employing British staff and Covid-19 restrictions it is a new product on the market.

Italy May Be Heading to Another National Lockdown

It would likely mean the end of any chance of ski resorts opening this Spring. Some resorts have already called it a day with new restrictions introduced this week as cases surge.

Will a Vaccine Certificate be Needed for Summer in the Mountains?

It is becoming more likely as some beach destination countries are introducing them and mountain ones are discussing it. Recent research shows the majority of British travellers are happy to use them, many though oppose the idea. It remains illegal for people in England to go abroad for a holiday until at least May 17th.

Crystal Ski Holidays Says Next Season Could be a Bumper One

The UK’s largest ski operator details growing interest and which resorts are proving to be most popular for the season of 2021/22. It says sales are surging as optimism returns. Will it last?

Ischgl Cancels the Rest of Its Ski Season

The Austrian resort says the continuing pandemic and its shared slopes with Switzerland mean it cannot see a way to open the season within all the rules. The resort was seen as a super-spreader of the virus a year ago.

Sales of Ski Holidays Surge for Next Season

Operators report a rise in bookings and interest for next season.  It follows the roll out of vaccines, easing of lockdown restrictions, plus talk of vaccine passports to allow travel. Is it too soon to be optimistic? UPDATED

Situation Worsens in Parts of France But Another Lockdown Ruled Out

The French Prime Minister, Jean Castex, has said the current Covid-19 situation in some parts of France is ‘worrying’. Cases in the Alps and the Pyrenees remain steady and relatively under control though concerns are rising after the holiday period.

Will We Need a Vaccine Passport to Head to the Mountains Next Winter?

It is looking increasing likely with a number of countries including Austria & Switzerland supporting the idea. Austria has said it wants a system in place by May or June. The airline industry itself is set to introduce a Covid Travel Pass with trials underway.

Switzerland Agrees Easing Some Covid-19 Measures

They were outlined earlier this month and now Federal & Cantonal authorities have agreed the details. Restaurants and bars will remain closed, something some ski resorts oppose. The new rules come into force on March 1st.

As Cases Rise in Austria More Areas Could Require FFP2 Masks

The masks have been compulsory in ski resorts since the lifts began turning on December 24th. There has been a rise in cases across the country as some measures have been eased.

Regional Travel Ban Extended in Italy

The new government led by Prime Minister Mario Draghi has extended until 27th March a ban on travel between Italy’s regions. It will have a significant impact on mountain areas.

How Will Easing of Lockdown Measures in England Affect the World of Snowsports?

Skiers will be looking at whether it might possible to make some end of season turns or visit the mountains this summer for glacier skiing. Plus, what will be happening to the indoor snowcentres & the outdoor artificial slopes? Might skiing in Scotland be possible in the Spring?

Travel Industry Pleads with PM for Help

The travel industry has urged the prime minister to provide a roadmap to get people travelling again this summer and make plans for next winter. NEW

Crystal Ski Cancels All Holidays for This Season

The UK’s largest ski operator has formally announced it will not be running any holidays this winter. Some had hoped there might be a possibility towards the end of the season.

UK Ski Companies Urge Boris Johnson to Help Travel Industry

As new quarantine measures come into force today the Save Future Travel Coalition says the Prime Minister needs to use next week’s lockdown update to provide a route forward for the travel industry. This week should have been one of the busiest weeks for winter holidays.

Further Reaction from Italian Ski Resorts As They Remain Closed

Some were due to open on Monday and others later this week. Many resorts had spent huge amounts of time, money and effort after being told they could open. One resort defied the ban & opened anyway, there have been demonstrations in others.UPDATED

Major UK Operator Says Skiing ‘Highly Unlikely’ This Season

But Hotelplan UK, which owns Inghams, Ski Total, Esprit and Flexiski, is looking to offer more holidays in 2021-22 with bookings already 100% up on the same time last year.  In an interview with PlanetSKI the MD has accepted it is ‘extremely unlikely’ there’ll be any ski trips this season.

GB Ski Company Looks to the Future

The Tech start-up Maison Sport has launched a crowdfunding campaign in a bid to raise £400,000 as part of a larger £1.4M financing drive. It wants to go global. The company connects skiers and snowboarders with independent instructors, challenging the existing system of ski schools.

Italy’s Ski Resorts Set to Re-Open

From February 15th resorts in the so-called ‘Yellow Zones’ are expected to be able to open. All the country’s main ski areas are in a yellow zone except for those in the Sud Tirol. It is a huge relief for skiers, plus the resorts though some question the wisdom as Covid-19 continues.

French Ski Resorts Breathe Sigh of Relief as No New Lockdown

It will be welcomed by ski resorts as the February holiday period approaches. The ski lifts will still not be allowed to turn but some travel is allowed and accommodations can remain open. It is though scant compensation for a season wrecked by Covid-19.

UK Ski Operators Claim 2021/2022 Looking Good

That’s according to some UK ski tour operators and agents we have spoken to. This season is pretty much a total write off, though some hold out hope for the end of season. Are they correct about next winter?

Austria Extends Some Lockdown Restrictions but Eases Others

The government, opposition parties, scientific advisers and regional authorities met throughout the day on Monday. The alpine nation’s lockdown is due to end on February 7th. What are the changes and how will they affect ski resorts?

5 Family Resorts in the Tirol for Next Season

The Austrian ski region is full of quiet, uncrowded resorts.  Some you’ve probably never heard of. Let PlanetSKI be your guide to some of the best resorts to visit for a family trip next winter.

Major UK Ski Operator Cancels All Ski Holidays Until April

Hotelplan runs Inghams, Ski Total and Flexiski and all holidays are off until at least April 2nd. It is no great surprise with ski holidays banned by the government and the short term not looking good in the battle against Covid-19.

Government Confirms Ban on All Ski Holidays

Snowsports holidays are included in the existing ban on all foreign holidays. The measures have been in place for a while but appear to have been flouted or misunderstood by some. A small number have found claimed loop holes.

Ischgl Hopes to Open in Mid-February

The Austrian resort remains closed though some slopes are open for ski tourers and people going snow shoeing. It has spent €750,000 on Covid-19 protection measures and wants to ensure safety.

French Government Delays Decision on Third National Lockdown

The government says a decision will be taken “in the coming days” on whether to impose a third lockdown. It would be a further blow on the fragile situation of ski resorts but may be needed to prevent deaths and hospitals being overrun.
UPDATED

UK Students In Isolation in France After Covid-19 Cases Are Trainee Ski Instructors Heading to Switzerland

The group is in isolation in Vallorcine near Chamonix after 16 out of the group of 26 tested positive.  Locals in Vallorcine are reported to be anxious and there are concerns in Verbier. The course organiser says all the rules have been strictly followed.

Crystal Ski Cancels Holidays Until March 5th

The UK’s largest ski tour operator pulls the plug as questions grow whether there will be a ski season at all.  Covid-19 and international travel restrictions to EU and Schengen countries means travel is not likely any time soon.

Reaction As Ski Lifts Remain Closed In France

It is an economic body blow to the French resorts – the lift companies, the restaurants, the ski schools and all businesses in resorts. Let alone us that want to ski. The French government says it is necessary to save lives and beat Covid-19 and that health issues take priority.

French Ski Lifts to Remain Shut into February & Likely Beyond

It is a bitter blow for the resorts and means the half term holiday period is likely gone with a huge impact. The government says it is a necessary measure and it puts the health of the nation above economic issues. UPDATED

Italy’s Ski Areas Remain Closed

They had been scheduled to open today, January 18th, but it wasn’t to be with Covid-19 cases remaining stubbornly high.

Ski Resorts in France Await Their Fate

The government will decide by Wednesday if and when the ski resorts can run their lifts. Some fear if there is another delay then the season will effectively be a write off, but it may be necessary to save lives in the battle against Covid-19.

Covid-19 Testing for International Travellers into UK Delayed to Monday

Mandatory Covid testing will now be introduced for everyone arriving in England om Monday 18th January. People will need a negative Covid-19 test taken no more than three days before departure. UPDATED

GB Ski Businesses Adapt to Survive in the Face of Coronavirus

British-owned ski companies in the Alps are re-inventing themselves to provide a lifeline in these difficult times. Two business owners in France tell PlanetSKI how they’ve been forced to adapt to survive. 

Ski Resorts in France Ordered to Keep Lifts Shut

They were supposed to open on Thursday 7th January but the authorities in Paris have said they must stay closed.  It is a bitter blow for the resorts, many of whom had prepared their slopes. The government said it is necessary to defeat Covid-19.

Inghams Suspends All Ski Holidays Until End of February

Ski Total and Flexiski holidays are also cancelled. All brands are run by the Swiss company, Hotelplan.  It follows the UK lockdown and there are serious doubts about much of the rest of the season for all UK ski companies.

Italy Delays Opening Ski Resorts

Italy has postponed the reopening of its ski resorts until later this month at the earliest. January 18th is the date pencilled in. In the Pyrenees Andorra has open some slopes for local residents only. UPDATED

High Demand for Peak Time Ski Trips Next Winter

With this season looking like it could be a write-off, UK ski tour operators and travel agents say key dates for next winter are selling fast.

Changes for UK Travellers Heading to Europe from January 1st

Skiers and snowboarders will notice some changes on how people from the UK can cross borders. There are alterations to many rules as Brexit begins.

Switzerland Tourism Launches Overview of Regulations, Canton by Canton

Some cantons have ski areas open, others have shut them. The Federal government has closed restaurants, but some were allowed to open. Now they are closed. It is, to say the least, a confusing picture.

Ischgl Closed Until Second Half of January

Ski resorts in Austria have opened for local skiers only, but the resort in the Tirol that was an early spreader of Covid-19 is shut until towards the end of next month.

Snow report

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To celebrate Fathers Day, we are giving you the opportunity to gift dads who misses being on the Snow.

By using the code FATHER at checkout, you can claim a free ticket to the National Snow Show

The perfect gift to look forward to for all our dads that love being on the slopes.

There's nowhere we'd rather be than at Blue Cow on its season debut. Can we get a heart-eyes emoji, or what?! 😍 Before visiting Perisher please make sure to check out our latest updates 👉 https://bit.ly/3wORgRm

Top class brands Ski Exchange, Hike and Ride, Picture Organic Clothing, Mycoal, Snow Magazine, In The Snow, NSSA, Fulfill Nutrition, Lange, Big Bobble Hats, Flanci have joined the line-up at The National Snow Show, at the NEC in Birmingham in October 2021.
📸: Leon Butler

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