It’s evident that COVID-19 is going to have a huge impact on the ski industry.

While it’s still not clear how the UK industry will be affected, some shocking figures were released last week.

€1.8 billion drop in turnover

“We have lost 20% of our financial capacity, a drop of €1.8 billion in turnover,” said Charles-Ange Ginesy, president of the National Association of Mayors of Mountain Resorts (ANMSM)

Although emergency legislation at the end of March ensured that seasonal workers in France are entitled to partial unemployment benefits, resorts are anticipating significant economic pressure.

The figures from L’Observatoire Savoie Mont Blanc take into account over 100 ski resorts in the Savoie and Haute Savoie departments and assume occupancy rates of 70-80% for larger ski resorts through to mid-April and early-May in the case of resorts such as Val Thorens and Val d’Isere.

Savoie Mont Blanc Figures

  • €800 million – Estimated impact on the economy
  • €118 million – Losses for 15-31 March alone
  • €135 million – Estimated losses for April
  • €66 million – Losses in the region’s 5000 restaurants
  • €18 million – Losses in the transport sector
  • 10 million – Lost overnight stays
  • 6 million – Lost skier days
  • 15% – Lost turnover for sports shops and the ESF

Wintersports represents half all tourism

Wintersports in Savoie Mont Blanc employs over 23,000 people, with the restaurant sector, which represents half of the region’s tourism economy, is expected to be worst hit.

In some respects, the timing was ‘good’ for the ski industry as peak activity occurs from December to March and the resorts now move into shoulder season.

However, Laurent Reynaud from Domaines Skiables de France (DSF) has already questioned whether some ski resorts in the Massif Central and Vosges will be able to continue, when taken together with the impact of a poor snow season.