Britons save French businesses from collapse as holidaymakers flock for ski getaways

British holidaymakers flock to France for ski getaways

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Sky News correspondent Adam Parsons explained how the now lifted Covid restrictions in France have caused British holidaymakers to flock to the Alps once again. Mr Parsons spoke of how British winter sports enthusiasts are booking up Chamonix to go and ski despite a late start to the season. With booking in the Alps filling up, this in return has started to save the ski season from economic downfall.

Mr Parsons spoke to business owners about the impact COVID-19 restrictions have been having on the tourist industry in France.

He said: “As the early mist lifts so the first skiers arrive, and these slops are about to get a little busier.

“Travel restrictions to France have been lifted and the British are coming, that is a huge relief for those who rely on British visitors to keep them going, people like Shona who runs a ski school here.”

Ski school instructor Shona Tate said: “We’ve got this far and I think if it hadn’t been lifted now or in the next couple of weeks then there would be a lot of fallout.

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“We can’t survive, we have no cash turn over and businesses can’t survive without a turnover, so we’re not paying ourselves actually at the moment.

“We’re just trying to bring money in for the business so you know, we have to get to a certain level before we can start to do that.”

Mr Parsons added: “Now that sense of gloom is lifting the outlook is brighter, here in Chamonix one in four tourists is normally British – the only country that sends more holidaymakers to the French Alps in France itself.

“This isn’t just about frustrated British winter sports fans breathing a sigh of relief, it’s also the story of an economic wrestling plan.

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“Because there are plenty of resorts and businesses up here in the French Alps that are dependent on holidaymakers from the UK.

Mr Parsons added: “Some questions do remain, it’s not clear whether children will need Covid passports and unvaccinated travellers really aren’t welcome in France.

“But things are clearly moving in the right direction, Giles rents out a chalet in the town.

“Most of his visitors are British, so the decision to readmit tourists was crucial.”


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Chalet owner Giles Bickford said: “It’s completely saved our season, we’re going to be fully booked from now, February, March, and April.

“So with those three months, we can survive and have an ok season. We were lucky that we managed to get a few bookings over Christmas and New Year to fill in some of the cancellations.”

Mr Parsons added: “Winter sports holidays are designed to be a blend of thrill and relaxation, but business here has recently been all stress and not much fun, now the way ahead looks a lot more inviting.”

Business owners began to contact President of France Emmanuel Macron to complain about the economic problems the Covid-19 restrictions were causing for them.

Mark Nathan, Chalets1066 managing director said: “Like many others, I have written to President Macron to outline exactly why closing the border with the UK was a bad decision and to explain how much it has impacted French businesses.”

“It has definitely been a hard battle but we feel that we have at least been heard – now it’s time for a British invasion of France.

“Many people are understandably angry about missing their ski holidays in France and are even saying they will boycott the country in the future.”

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