Club Med Ski Report 2021/22

Welcome to Club Med's ninth annual ski report, which seeks to examine the latest developments within the industry as we look ahead to the winter 2021/22 season.

The Return to Ski: Winter Sports in a New Era

“At the start of 2020, it would have been unimaginable to think that Brits are only just now able to think about heading back to the slopes as we approach winter 2021/22, following two seasons of disruption. Coming from the first signs of the global pandemic impacting the 2019/20 season, forcing it to end abruptly in March, to a season which never went ahead last year, we are confident and optimistic that the upcoming season will be bigger and better than ever as demand for missed ski holidays soars. We are however acutely aware that we need to continue to provide reassurance to customers as Covid-19 continues to affect the way in which people are thinking about winter sports holidays.”

Estelle Giraudeau
Managing Director, UK & Northern Europe at Club Med

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Health and Safety measures
While Brits are still intending to get away wherever possible, there are several in-resort health and safety measures which are still important factors when they are considering their next holiday. Interestingly, while these factors remain incredibly important, all figures show a year-on-year decline – perhaps as Brits grow in confidence with the vast majority of UK adults now double vaccinated. Safety precautions that Brits want to see in resorts include regular cleaning (41%, down from 50% in 2020), social distancing (41%, down from 60% in 2020), accessible hand sanitiser (39%, down from 47% in 2020), testing onsite (38%, down from 46% in 2020) and use of masks in public spaces (37%, down from 45% in 2020).

Cancellation and refunds
Over the past 18 months, millions of people across the UK had their holiday plans altered. For those who had been on a winter sports holiday in the past four years, over half (58%) had a trip cancelled due the pandemic. From this, three quarters (75%) chose to postpone their holiday to the following season. Of those polled, 21% received a Club Med Credit Note and a further 23% received a full refund. Offering a refundable stay, should a country’s status change to ‘red’ is crucial for Brits booking a holiday with 57% saying it was the single most important factor when choosing their travel provider.

Attracting new holidaymakers
It is evident to see how eager winter sports enthusiasts are to get back to the mountains, with almost half (46%) still wanting to go ahead with their ski holiday even if they had to quarantine on arrival back in the UK. Yet this year, this type of trip is also proving to be an incredibly attractive proposition for non-skiers, with 81% of first-time skiers choosing a winter sports holiday because their usual type of holiday isn't feasible due to Covid-19.

The impact of testing
Another fallout from Covid-19 has been the introduction of rigorous testing and the implications of this for international travel. More recently, high costs for testing coupled with various logistical implications has resulted in international holidays not being possible nor feasible for many, and the research revealed that 63% of UK adults delayed booking a holiday as they had been put off by this added financial pressure. It is therefore much welcomed news to hear lateral flow tests will replace expensive PCR tests for double-jabbed British travellers.