Several travel companies are reporting that some British skiers who used to book into chalets are opting for apartments instead.
The reasons given are partly the rising cost and reduced availability of cheaper chalet holidays as a result of Brexit, and partly the fact that apartments can provide more of an opportunity to keep within your own family/group bubble at pandemic-thinking continues to hold sway.
“We’re seeing lots of clients switch to self-catering apartments this winter,” said Steve Hull of Destination Ski, “It gives them the comfort of knowing they don’t have to share their facilities with anyone else during their stay. If they want to pack up a lunch and cook in the chalet in the evening, it really does mean they can stay within their own bubble for the whole trip. However, as we all hope that restrictions will continue to ease later in the year and into 2022, it also provides the flexibility to eat out whenever they want as well.”
Some other companies say they are not really noticing this trend, but Jane Bolton, MD of long-established ski holiday company Erna Low, said they are,
“We are currently enjoying excellent booking figures for our ski holidays which is positive. I agree that the rise in demand for apartments is partly due to the lack of chalet capacity and price increases on what remains of the chalet programmes, together with the wish for people to be able to stay in a self-contained unit within their own family bubble or friendship group. The upmarket apartments that are so popular in our programme also offer pools, hot tubs, steam rooms and saunas etc which only the most expensive chalets would have so that is also a consideration for the family market.”
There’s currently a lot of uncertainty about what safety nets skiers and snowboarders have for travel next winter and tour operators are doing what they can to reassure people as the options continue to evolve and, at present at least, seemingly improve.
Booking through a travel agency and/or a tour operator tends to give more protection through ATOL and or ABTA than boking direct, but that’s not always the case and it’s important to check what’s included. Normally booking flight and accommodation together through a travel agent or tour operator generates much greater protection than booking an apartment and flights separately yourself direct with the accommodation provider and airline.
“We can package apartments with flights and transfers to give the clients proper financial security for their holiday. Destination Ski is an ABTA-member travel agency specialising in ski holidays throughout Europe and North America. All our flight-inclusive packages are ATOL protected,” added Steve.