Winter holidays 2020: Is it safe to book a skiing holiday this year? Expert shares advice

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Skiing holidays are a winter season staple for many, but with travel facing so much disruption this year, will ski breaks be affected? What’s more, if they do go ahead what will life on the slopes and at resorts look like? spoke to Estelle Giraudeau from holiday operator Club Med to find her travel advice.

Giraudeau, UK & Northern Europe MD of Club Med, explained that skiing holidays, thanks to their alfresco nature, are pretty safe options right now, plus, Britons don’t have to travel far to find a slope.

“Skiing in Europe benefits from being a short-haul holiday, which is accessible by a wide range of transport options and ultimately results in the customer spending a great deal of time outdoors, making it one of the safer holiday options this winter,” she said.

Furthermore, resorts are implementing numerous COVID-fighting measures.

“The ski domains are working hard to ensure skiers are kept safe both in-resort and on the slopes,” detailed Giraudeau.

“Rules will vary from country to country but basic rules will be common, such as wearing masks in lift queues, and in cable cars and chair lifts, social distancing of 1.5 metres, reduced capacity in cable cars and a bigger focus on outdoors après-ski, with more establishments offering takeaway and delivery only,” explained Giraudeau.

“Ski domains will be releasing precise measures and guidelines closer to the opening of the season.”

Club Med has undertaken a number of measures which are designed to protect everyone without dampening the holiday experience.

“For example, our spas will be open as usual with the necessary provisions put in place per our ‘Safe Together’ protocol,” Giraudeau elaborated.

“We will have extended opening hours for dining areas, with a safe distance between tables.

“Our buffets will be facilitated with staff service, and we are continuing to offer our guests as much choice as possible with cuisines from all around the world – which we know is a much-loved aspect of the Club Med experience.

“We have also developed digital tools to ease other aspects of holidaymakers’ experience, such as online check-in and booking for ski gear and lessons, meaning no physical queueing is required.”

Club Med has also ramped up their hygiene measures – and Giraudeau recommends checking the measures being taken in your resort ahead of booking.

If you’re worried about travelling during these uncertain times and losing money, then package holidays are the way forwards thanks to the level of protection they offer.

“We believe the all-inclusive ski holiday model will be more attractive than ever, with customers safe in the knowledge that their holidays are ATOL-protected,” said Giraudeau.

“It also guarantees that they are not going to be hit with lots of additional costs after booking.

“This is more important than ever now. With prices and currencies fluctuating in these uncertain times, locking in a price provides peace of mind.”

Giraudeau continued: “All-inclusive operators have also been at the forefront of Covid-19 protection schemes.

“For example, Club Med has introduced COVID-19 insurance which means that if you fall ill with COVID-19 while travelling, all medical expenses will be covered including medical expenses in case of hospitalisation, GP appointments, COVID-19 testing, transportation costs to testing facilities.

“In the unfortunate event requiring you to go to hospital, the insurance will also cover the cost of stay for a companion, accompaniment of children and urgent medical care transfer if needed.

“Additionally, all customers due to depart up to December 31, 2020, are entitled to amend their booking free of charges and select a new departure date up to 12 months after the original date of travel.”

Club Med also guarantees that all clients entitled to a refund can receive it within 14 days.

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