As it becomes increasingly clear that holiday travel is becoming possible again in Europe, skiers and ski holiday companies alike are planning for next season.
After a difficult year, we’re all looking forward to being able to enjoy the simple delights of a great ski holiday this winter. Nothing beats a log fire, great food and comfortable surroundings after a day on the pistes.
Ski resorts will be making some changes to how they handle lift queues and other everyday activities in and around the resort, but those have mostly yet to be announced. The ski industry has been listening to skiers and it’s clear we will have different priorities, concerns and requirements when looking for a ski holiday this winter.
The task for chalet operators is to be able to ensure everything we love about a chalet holiday will be very much on the menu for this season. The trick will be in offering much more choice to skiers booking holidays and preferably improved booking protection.
Chalet holidays with more choice
Having a safe but enjoyable ski holiday will be all about ski parties controlling their contact and maintaining your ‘bubble’ in the best way for you. This might mean cooking for yourselves in a sole-use chalet or a fully catered service but what if you’d rather eat pre-prepared meals in your own chalet space and yet venture out to a restaurant for a few nights in the week? Previously such flexibility has been hard to find but this season we’re seeing some ski operators adding significant new options to ensure every ski party can book the accommodation and catering style that suits them best.
Companies like Verbier luxury chalet operator, Ski Armadillo, are amongst the first to set out all new options for the coming season aimed at giving peace of mind when booking a ski holiday. We’ve spoken to Tom Wilson of Ski Armadillo to find out a bit more about what they have in store to make the coming season as simple, enjoyable and stress-free as always.
“Guests are conscious of recent events and are wanting more choice. Ski Armadillo have responded by increasing the flexibility and tailored nature of our ski holidays. Your holiday, your choice!”
Self catered holidays are set to be more popular than ever, the benefits of having your own space and yet be able to sample the award winning restaurants of a resort-like Verbier. More about the self catered service
Fully catered holidays have been adapted to increase social distancing and disinfection practices, sole use chalets will be the norm. More about the catered service
Tailored luxury. The biggest change are bespoke flexi-catering options. Ski Armadillo guests can book a chalet with whatever mix of catering options suits them best from B&B to a couple of gourmet cooked 3-course meals, from take-aways to pre-cooked meals. Your holiday, your choice. Find out more about tailored luxury service in Verbier
At Ski Armadillo, these changes to service options are all being made in addition to new strict measures in compliance with the Swiss Federal Council. Simple things like social distancing policies for staff, suitable PPE and cleaning procedures have helped Switzerland emerge as the safest holiday destinations in the world according to data published in June 2020 from the Deep Knowledge Group.
Changes to travel
Air travel will be more restrictive and it’s likely face masks will be mandatory for the flight, airport queuing and potentially the transfer on to the resort. It’s too early to be sure of all the rules that’ll be in place by the time the season starts. We are left speculating on how travel choices might change in response, but it’s a fair bet that more ski parties will choose to drive to the Alps.
Getting to a major resort like Verbier can take just 8hrs from Calais, your party can stay together and avoid much of the new restrictions and related delays. Provided your vehicle is full, driving will have a lower carbon footprint than flying too. Ski Armadillo tell us they’re expecting to welcome more self-driving guests than ever in the coming season.
“Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen increasing numbers of guests choosing to self-drive over the traditional travelling method, flying. The freedom of driving to resort has become more popular, as this budget-friendly option enables you to travel in your own personal space and not having to worry about luggage allowances or busy airport queues. What’s more, the ability to stop-off for a long lunch in the historical city of Dijon is the perfect way to kick-off your skiing holiday to Verbier”
Changes to booking terms & financial protection
Nobody is expecting a sudden return to lockdown but after what happened with the Coronavirus outbreak and sudden closure of resorts through March 2020, it’s understandable that skiers are looking for clear and fair terms from a ski operator should there be another travel ban or resort closure. Many ski companies have yet to declare a new policy or protection and others have announced changes already. Ski Armadillo have added protection to deposits & booking fees specifically in the case of a travel ban or resort closure whilst putting in place ironclad insurance to protect against any collapse in the ski industry.
Bright and exciting season ahead
It’s clear that next season will involve a few changes and maybe some new choices but the resorts are betting on being open for business and of course the mountains will be as wonderful as ever. The recent crisis may have weighed heavily on the ski holiday industry, but it’s clear that the leaders are responding to protect everything we love about a great ski holiday and giving us new choices whilst keeping the experience fun and simple.