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How will ski holidays look after COVID-19?

September 25, 2020  · 
How will ski holidays look after COVID-19?

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the travel industry unlike anything we have experienced before. Although a level of uncertainty remains, governments and authorities are beginning to plan and implement strategies for a way to safely return to our normal lives. Social distancing is likely to be a part everyday life for a while longer which has led to many questions about future travel and how ski holidays will be affected next season.

Some of the most common questions we are being asked by clients right now are:

  • Will there be a 2020/21 ski season?
  • When will we be able to travel again?
  • How will social distancing work in ski resorts?
  • What are ski resorts doing to prepare for next winter in light of COVID-19?
  • Is now a good time to book a skiing holiday?

Lockdowns are easing slowly across European resorts with many opening for the summer season. Hotels, bars and restaurants are opening across The Alps with summer skiing and socially distanced sports and walking/bike trails being permitted.

Even with distancing rules in place, it is reassuring to see such activities being resumed with plenty of time for the situation to improve further before the ski season starts. With much of your time spent on the slopes in wide open spaces, taking in the fresh mountain air, a ski holiday lends itself perfectly to social distancing practices.

Changes to your ski holiday

Ski resorts will have to follow guidelines set out by their regional or central government and this means that there may be a few changes to your ski holiday next winter. We cannot provide details for each resort until we are much closer to the season, but we can look to resorts in the southern hemisphere which are opening next month and the summer season guidelines in The Alps.

Physical distancing will be a priority for next season. This includes adhering to guidelines when queuing for lifts and riding the lift itself. Timberline Lodge in Oregon, USA reopened in early May and permits skiers to ride lifts only with the people they came with.

Restaurants may still have capacity restrictions to ensure you are able to dine whilst respecting social distancing rules. Cleaning and sanitation will be increased and will likely be much more visible than usual.

The common themes across areas that are starting to ease their lockdown seems to be testing, social distancing, increased sanitisation, and face coverings. It is likely that your winter ski holiday will include at least some of these precautions to keep you and other skiers safe.

With autumn well and truly upon us, and the 20/21 ski season creeping closer, we thought now would be a good time to delve a little deeper into what ski resorts will look like this winter. Many resorts across Europe have already implemented new rules and regulations on cleanliness and social distancing in order to operate as safely as possible. Flexible booking terms and cancellation policies have helped to offer peace of mind for clients, and our book with confidence campaign has allowed our clients to look forward to their much-needed ski holidays after what has been a year like no other.

Let’s take a look at what is happening across a few of our favourite European resorts right now, and how they are gearing up to enjoy a safe return to the slopes.


Rigorous health and safety measures and stringent cleaning rules have come into effect during the summer in Courchevel, with in-resort teams currently preparing to offer a safe and friendly environment to visitors over the winter season. Extensive sanitary measures will also be enforced this season, including:

- Regulations on all the 3 Vallées ski area
- Social distancing instructions and signage
- Hydroalcoholic gel available for use
- Mandatory masks in waiting areas and on all lifts (including children over 11)
- Regular disinfection of ski lifts and hand sanitiser offered upon boarding
- Masks to be worn on bus shuttles, and a distance of 1m between passengers to be maintained
- Buses to be disinfected every day


In line with the current Clean & Safe campaign by the Swiss tourism board, the following health and safety measures will be in place throughout the resort of Verbier to help combat the spread of the virus over the winter months. These include: 

- Mandatory mask wearing on public transport
- Buses to be disinfected every day
- Transport tickets to be purchased online as much as possible
- Contactless card payments in restaurants
- Social distancing instructions and signage
- Regular cleaning and disinfection of ski lifts

 Val d’Isere:

Launched ahead of the upcoming winter season, Val d’Isere’s Charter of Commitment promises to reorganise and train their resort teams, make holidays easy, keep visitors safe and reassured, and protect everyone whilst also protecting the environment. In order to enforce these four charters, the following safety measures have been introduced:

 - Social distancing instructions and dedicated signage will be in place
- Alcohol hand sanitizer gel distribution points will be accessible
- It will be mandatory to wear a facemask in queues and on all closed ski lifts (over the age of 11)
- Plexiglass windows will be installed in shops
- Ski lift gondolas will be cleaned regularly
- POS, tablets and other means of payment will be cleaned daily

Exclusive use accommodation

There are many factors to consider when selecting accommodation for your ski holiday but this season you will likely have social distancing to consider in addition. Chalets and hotels will be doing their utmost to provide reassurances to guests that they have implemented measures to protect against COVID-19 transmission. For added peace of mind, why not opt for a catered ski chalet? Each of the luxury chalets on our portfolio is available for exclusive use which enables you and your family to enjoy your time in the mountains with limited exposure to other people.

Flexible terms and conditions

The 2019/20 ski season was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic and the ski resorts being put into lockdown. Although travel companies suffered a reduction in sales due to the travel bans, the outlook for the 2020/21 season is a positive one with a survey conducted by Ski Press and Skipedia finding that 85% of ski industry professionals believe that resorts will open as usual. Many of the operators we work with are providing flexible terms and conditions for next winter to instil confidence when booking, including fully refundable deposits on bookings up to the end of the summer months.

Driving to resort

Although most of us favour flying to resort due to the shorter journey time, we are expecting a lot more of our clients to choose driving this season to limit their contact with others. There are also plenty of advantages to driving such as no transfer costs, no luggage restrictions and freedom to enjoy the journey and take it all at your own pace. Planning destinations to stop and break up the journey can also form part of the holiday itself. The French/Swiss Portes du Soleil is the closest major ski area to drive to which includes Morzine, Avoriaz, Les Gets and Chatel.

 If you are unsure what to do about your ski plans for next winter or have any concerns, do get in touch. The team are working from home, but we are here and ready to start discussing your next ski holiday when you are.

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