Ski bookings in France increased after ban on British tourists was lifted | Economic news

Tour operators have reported an increase in bookings to French ski destinations after France dropped the ban on British tourists.

Jet2 and easyJet both saw an increase in searches and bookings within hours of the announcement.

Ferry operators and the cross-Channel train operator Eurostar also welcomed the decision.

Jet2 said customers were jumping at the chance to return to the runways

It means that Friday morning, fully vaccinated people will be allowed to enter France if they present proof of a negative coronavirus test carried out within 24 hours of departure.

The obligation of isolation on arrival will be abolished.

A ban on travel to and from Britain without “compelling reasons” had been implement by France last month in response to the spread of the Omicron variant.

The restrictions have been relaxed now that the variant is prevalent in both countries.

The move represents a boost for the besieged travel industry just in time for the winter ski season and comes after pre-departure testing for UK arrivals. have been discarded last week – a decision that also gave an elevator to the sector.

Jet2 chief executive Steve Heapy said after France’s announcement there had been a “sharp and immediate” increase in ski flight bookings.

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“A lot of people haven’t taken a vacation for two or three years”: Jet2 sees pent-up demand

“The snow conditions in the French Alps would be excellent, which means that our customers are jumping at the opportunity to get back on the slopes,” he said.

“This is again great news for the travel industry and further reinforces our already strong belief that 2022 is a year to look forward to with real confidence.”

Jet2 has announced that it will resume ski flights to Grenoble, Chambéry and Lyon from January 22 and resume travel to Paris from February 11.

Easyjet also benefited from the easing of restrictions.

He said: “Following the French Government’s announcement to lift the ban on UK tourists, we have seen a first increase in UK bookings over the next few weeks to our French destinations serving some of the resorts. favorite ski in Europe, especially Lyon and Grenoble. “

British Airways said British Airways Holidays, its package holiday arm, saw a 44% increase in holiday searches in France on Thursday afternoon, compared to the previous day.

Chris Logan, Managing Director of Crystal Ski Holidays, Britain’s largest winter sports operator, said he was “delighted” with the move after a “difficult start to the season”.

Mr Logan said the company, owned by travel giant Tui, had already seen an increase in searches and bookings before the announcement and “would expect to see another very positive increase now that it’s official. “.

Passengers arrive from a Eurostar train at Gare du Nord in Paris on Wednesday, December 23, 2020. Goods and passengers from Britain have started arriving on French shores following a two-day blockade imposed due to a new variant of the coronavirus.  (Photo AP / Michel Euler) PIC: AP
Eurostar said it was ready to increase its services

Eurostar welcomed the announcement and said it was ready to increase its services in the coming weeks.

Brittany Ferries Managing Director Christophe Mathieu said it was a “great relief” and expressed hope that “we have witnessed the latest border closure in the COVID crisis”.

He said: “We have all suffered tremendously over the past two years.

“Thousands of Brittany Ferries passengers have been disrupted and millions of pounds of revenue have been lost due to drastic measures like border closures.”

Abby Penlington, director of industry body Discover Ferries, said: “France is one of the most popular vacation destinations for Britons and traditionally January has been a critical month for travel operators as people are starting to book a summer vacation.

“As the ferry industry has continued to operate essential services across the Channel as the border has remained closed, we are confident that its reopening will provide a much needed increase in bookings.”

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