UK ski industry operators and agencies have felt a huge impact by Covid-19 but are optimistic than resorts will open next winter.
A study of UK snowsports industry professionals conducted by Ski Press and Skipedia have revealed the damage that Covid-19 has had on their business and what they believe the future might hold for next year.
Some of the key findings concluded that:
82% of companies suffered reduced sales due to the premature end to the 2019-20 season, with two-thirds experiencing lower than usual sales for winter 2020-21 so far.
Almost 1 in 5 have made staff redundant and a quarter are concerned they could go out of business.
Although almost all expect ski resorts to open next winter, over 70% expect this to be with social distancing restrictions in place.
With the 2019-20 season cut short, the pressures on UK ski professionals started during March when all Alpine countries started closing ski resorts following the lockdown in Italy. By the middle of March, Austria, France and Switzerland had closed all of its ski resorts and holidays for the rest of the season were cancelled.
60% of winter sports businesses including tour operators and equipment retailers have now furloughed staff members. 17% of respondents have had to make redundancies too.
Whilst 64% are saying they are experiencing reduced sales for next winter, two-thirds expect that it should be ‘business as usual’ this winter, anticipating that they will be able to offer their normal services.
The acquisition by Hotelplan UK of short break specialist Flexiski from its parent company Travelopia, was announced today for an undisclosed sum.
flexiski has operated tailor-made short-stay ski holidays since 1990, with currently five high-quality chalets and over 175 hotels across 48 resorts in France, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Norway, Canada and Japan. Quality is a real hallmark of the brand, which has been at the forefront of more tailored, personalised and flexible skiing for over 20 years.
At Hotelplan UK, the brand and team will join the Group’s existing portfolio of activity and experience holiday companies, which includes Inghams (whose range comprises Ski, Lakes & Mountains, Lapland and specialist Italy holidays), family skiing market leader Esprit Holidays, chalet specialist Ski Total, Santa’s Lapland short breaks, self-guided walking and cycling experts, Inntravel and small-groups Adventure travel specialist, Explore Worldwide.
How would a no-deal Brexit affect the travel industry? MPI Brokers gives its interpretation of information from various sources
Insurance and the European Health Insurance Card
The future of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) has not been agreed and it is likely that from the withdrawal date UK residents will not be able to use the EHIC and UK prescriptions will no longer be valid in the EU.
Insurance polices (e.g. travel and tour operator liability) however, will remain in force after we exit the EU, but premiums are likely to rise over time.
It is expected that agreements for medical expenses of UK travellers in EU countries will be negotiated piecemeal. Needless to say, this may take some time.
Insurers who are established in the EU and provide insurance in the UK will have temporary permission to continue.