A study from the holiday firm PAP Vaccances found that bookings were almost back to pre-pandemic levels – up 8.3 percent on 2020 and 88 percent on 2021, a year marked by the total closure of ski lifts.
Resorts in the Alps, which account for two thirds of the French ski industry, were just 5 percent below their 2020 booking rates, but bookings in the Pyrenees had increased by 70 percent on 2020.
The 2019/20 ski season was curtailed by the emergence of the pandemic in February and nationwide lockdown in March, while the 2020/21 season was a virtual write-off with ski lifts, bars and restaurants closed throughout the season and strict travel restrictions in place.
The 2021/22 season has been open as normal, albeit with strict health measures in place including the requirement of a vaccine pass to access ski lifts and masks required in crowded areas including ski lift queues.
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While travel has been open throughout the season for residents of France or the EU, visitors from non-EU countries such as the USA have extra restrictions in place while a de facto ban on all travel from the UK was in place over the Christmas and New Year holidays.
In recent weeks France has been progressively lifting its Covid restrictions so that fully-vaccinated holidaymakers can travel freely from all non-EU countries and masks are no longer required in ski lifts.
However the vaccine pass is still required – including for some children – and booster shots are necessary for most adults in order to hold a valid vaccine pass.
It is good that Europe is getting back to normal.