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November 24, 2021updated 25 Apr 2022 1:07pm

Another European ski season could be hanging in the balance

Europe once again finds itself at the epicentre of the pandemic just as the ski season starts to gain momentum.

By Globaldata Travel and Tourism

As Austria closes its ski resorts to international tourists until 13 December 2021, other European ski destinations will be worried as to what may be around the corner.

Skiing hotspots in the likes of France, Italy and Switzerland may be fearing the worst as one of their main competitors abruptly halts ski tourism for the next few weeks. Europe once again finds itself at the epicentre of the pandemic just as the ski season starts to gain momentum on the continent.

Demand for December ski trips could be hit

According to GlobalData, the month of December usually halts the post-summer slide in trips taken within Europe. In 2019 (the last year not impacted by the pandemic), domestic and outbound trips on the continent increased by 38.3% from November to December.

This stiff increase in demand for vacations in December usually plays into the hands of European ski resorts, with many classing this time as the beginning of the official ski season. However, this usual surge in demand could be impacted as the pandemic once again rears its head across major ski source markets and destinations.

According to GlobalData’s Q3 2021 consumer survey, 25% of European respondents stated that they were still ‘extremely concerned’ regarding the Covid-19 pandemic. This is still a significant percentage and shows that many Europeans will be likely to halt, or cancel, holiday plans if they see that virus transmission is starting to surge once again.

Germany could act as a deciding factor

Germany has more skiers than any other country in Europe, making this source market incredibly important for ski destinations. Additionally, Germany was the third-highest spending outbound source market globally in 2020, illustrating its spending power and willingness to carry on undertaking international trips during the pandemic.

As reported on 24 November 2021, the number of new Covid-19 infections registered within one day has once again reached a new high in Germany. In addition to this, the nationwide seven-day incidence rose above 400. These alarming figures in Germany will create cause for concern among European ski destinations as travel restrictions could be likely to follow, potentially creating a significant impact on revenue generation for resorts and other businesses connected to ski tourism.

Another European ski season looks likely to be impacted by the pandemic. A new wave of restrictions between important markets and reduced traveller confidence could sum up the European ski season this winter.

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