COVID-19 AND CONCERNS ABOUT THE 2020/2021 SKI SEASON
Travel has undoubtedly changed with the global coronavirus pandemic, but what we winter sport fans want to know is ‘How is Covid-19 going to affect next winter season?’. After ski resorts were forced to close early in March 2020, we are looking ahead to see how travel will be affected and how ski resorts will be able to operate for winter 2020/2021. There are lots of positive signs for future winter travel and resorts operating with Covid-19 safety measures in place.
HOW WILL COVID AFFECT WINTER TRAVEL IN 2020/2021?
As of 15th June 2020 European borders are open and the lockdown in France has been completely lifted, albeit with plenty of safety measures in place. In France all shops, restaurants, bars are open with various social distancing rules including the use of facemasks and hand sanitiser in certain instances. Some ski lifts in the Portes du Soleil, such as those in Les Gets, opened as early as the 30th May for the summer biking season.
The Telegraph newspaper has reported a huge increase in flight bookings for January 2021, whilst a recent survey of UK snowsports industry professionals indicates that the 64% of winter sports business, including tour operators, expect that it will be ‘business as usual’ next winter.
Many people will have missed out on ski trips due to the early closure of resorts at the end of last season as well as not being able to take a summer holiday. So with international travel opening up in time for the winter ski season, an abundance of holiday days to take and with a real urge to have a proper holiday, things are looking good for next winter.
EasyJet’s cheap flights, new flexible cancellation policies, discounted hold luggage and sports equipment fees have already tempted lots of our clients into getting next winters holiday booked in early.
For the latest UK government advice around travel and coronavirus, see the FCO page.
HOW WILL SKI RESORTS OPERATE WITH COVID-19?
Safety is of major concern to everyone as the world starts returning to the new normal and it is good to see that ski resorts are already thinking ahead.
Some ski lifts in the Portes du Soleil opened as early as the 30th May for the summer biking season, with others opening end of June as is usual. The opening of the lifts through the summer is allowing the lift companies to fully understand what increased sanitary procedures and social distancing measures are required for next winter. The lift operators are also looking into what operational changes will need to be made to help keep things running smoothly through peak periods of the 2021 winter ski season.
Another positive note is that ski resorts in the southern hemisphere are starting to open for their winter season with physical distancing and increased cleaning & sanitation in place. This is all great news and will help northern hemisphere resorts understand how to manage these new measures.
In mid May Avoriaz announced that it was already putting new coronavirus safety measures in place, both for the summer & next winter. Their new ‘SafeGuard’ label aims to protect visitors against Covid-19 and to give us all peace of mind. Avoriaz was the first ski resort in France to do this, so it shows that they are getting organised early for next winters operations.
Accommodation providers in the Morzine area are already implementing additional cleaning measures in their properties over the summer season, with extra precautions to disinfect all high contact touch points on top of the usual cleaning regimes.
At MINT Snowboarding, the safety of our clients, team and partners is our priority. We are working to put in place the measures needed to keep everyone safe during our snowboard lessons and snowboard camps next winter. We will continue to monitor governmental advice on the Covid-19 situation as it develops over the coming months and update our policies as necessary.
NEW FLEXIBLE BOOKINGS WITH MINT FOR WINTER 2020/2021
We’ve listened to our clients concerns related to travel and the coronavirus pandemic and are giving you the opportunity to plan ahead and get stoked for next winter by booking your snowboard lessons now totally risk free. Find out more here.
Over the coming months we will be reviewing and adapting our booking conditions as we better understand the situation and to give our clients more flexibility in the future with a new Flexible Booking Policy.
To provide additional flexibility to our clients, we are working closely with our suppliers to get more flexible terms. Due to this the release dates of our Snowboard Camps & Backcountry Program is slightly delayed. Don’t worry they will still be running – we’ve got some great snowboard trips in the pipeline for next winter! Enter your email address here to be the first to get informed when we release our Winter 2020/2021 Snowboard Camp schedule.
TO KEEP THINGS LIGHT…
While travel is still restricted and the snow another 6 months away, we invite you to ride with us on Instagram as we share snowboard experiences and destinations with you, so you can dream now and ride later—giving you something you can look forward to.
Until next winter, stay safe and stay positive