Ski holiday companies say they’re expecting a second surge in bookings once the government publishes clear advice on the resumption of international travel.
Many reported a spike in bookings earlier in the spring when the government initially began talking about a resumption in international travel, but this is reported to have waned as more uncertainty about how soon travel might be allowed to resume and what restrictions will be in place when it does, have grown.
“The immediate demand peaked around a week ago but has been dampened by a UK government bereft of consistent advice and policy; they are totally out of touch with the industry and its intricate mechanisms. The demand is very much still there and when the next government road to normality announcement is released the fire will undoubtedly reignite. We are expecting a bumper season in 2021/22,” said Nick Edwards, Managing Director of the specialist ski travel agency, SnowFinders.
The picture from ski travel companies remains one of a huge pent-up demand, with some skiers now having missed two successive ski seasons. Many of these have rolled-over bookings from those missed seasons, impacting availability for next winter 21-22. Others are planning multiple trips to make up for missed seasons.
“We are seeing a very healthy demand for ski holidays. Whilst many have been rolled over from this year there have been clients that have missed out for two years and so they will be skiing in season 2021/22 for the first time in three years. Some of our clients have already booked two and three holidays for next season. This means book now or miss out – it is a very simple message,” added Nick.
The English government have said people “can start thinking about” foreign travel again and there is talk of a tiered system with destinations place in green, amber and red bands this summer according to virus risk. However there is currently a threat of high costs for required virus testing by private companies, ruling out travel for those who aren’t wealthy enough to face the add-on cost.
Transport Minister Grant Shapps told the BBC, “This is the first time I’m able to come on and say I’m not advising against booking foreign holidays.”
Pictured top: Ruka