Winter sports resorts put in difficulty by the fifth wave of Covid-19

The drama of mountain resorts in the Covid-19 era, here it is: the skier thrives in winter, so does the virus. This conjunction implies that, when the snow falls, so do the positive cases, especially if tourists flock by enticed powder snow. Thus, the optimism that prevailed in the stations at the beginning of December is slowly turning into a wind of panic, since they are overwhelmed by the cases of Covid-19 and the related constraints.

“It’s not going great, summarizes Daniel Van den Heuvel, representative of hoteliers and restaurateurs from the two Savoys. We knew it was going to come back, but there is a general weariness. “ The delegate of the Union des métiers et des industries de l’hôtellerie (UMIH) gave a bitter chronicle of a derailed situation: the cases of Covid-19 which are multiplying in the staff, forcing restaurateurs to only insure ‘one out of two departments or hoteliers to close floors; disputes with recalcitrant sanitary rules, or between clients; hotels emptied of Britons, banned from coming to ski in France; nightclubs closed.

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers Covid-19: British skiers stranded at the border

“We were sure to have a good season, because customers wanted, and patatras! For the moment, the season is compromised and morale is in the socks. This week, there are people, but Monday is over! ” Usually fueled by foreign tour operators and business seminars, January should be quieter than usual.

Blackened balance sheet

The record is readily darkened by the prospect of negotiating new government aid, demanded by local parliamentarians in alarmist letters. In Morzine-Avoriaz (Haute-Savoie), a popular resort for the British, the mayor, Fabien Trombert, estimates that half of the professionals were able to “Fall back on their feet” by attracting last-minute French visitors. Those who suffer the most are après-ski bars and restaurants, popular with young British customers. If Christmas week was lively in the resort, New Year’s week is “Very, very quiet. It is overwhelming ”.

The two Savoys have the highest incidence outside the Paris region

The mornings of the town hall begin with a medical point: how many employees on the side? How many contact cases? The two Savoys know the highest incidence outside the Paris region – more than 1,000 cases per 100,000 inhabitants -, with a clear acceleration of cases since mid-December and a positivity rate around 10%. The occupancy of resuscitation beds on the territory oscillated, on December 29, between 93 and 97%. This strong circulation of the virus also has an impact on the life of the stations.

You have 51.08% of this article left to read. The rest is for subscribers only.