Comment: There is still time for the slopes

The easing of travel restrictions offers a great opportunity for winter sport specialists, says Switzerland Tourism UK director Alex Herrmann

Many British skiers must currently feel like me… we’ve missed one or even two seasons on the slopes, and we’re getting itchy.

On top of that, the season is in full swing, and we see the content of the lucky ones who are skiing on social media.

For those who do feel this way, the latest relaxation of testing requirements upon return to the UK is a great incentive to contact their tour operator or travel advisor to book that much-needed trip to the Alps.

And with sometimes strict and frequently changing restrictions in destinations, the security of that valued trade expert is more needed than ever.

In addition to pent-up demand, ski specialists can also encourage their clients to book by reminding them that the season has got off to a very good start, with lots of early snow.

Over the festive period, Switzerland welcomed back more winter sports enthusiasts from across Europe, and our experience of being the only Alpine country to open our ski areas last winter means we have valuable experience of operating a safe skiing environment.

With all necessary safety protocols in place, Swiss resorts are expected to stay open throughout the season, offering reassurance for customers who might still have some doubts.

There is no doubt that regulations in some Alpine countries may pose a challenge for guests, but we have done all we can to make the experience as smooth as possible – with the acceptance of the NHS Covid Pass for venues requiring certificates and free Covid tests available for residents and visitors.

Of course, there are other ways to recover from the last two years and reconnect with loved ones beyond skiing, and specialists can tempt clients with everything from snow-shoeing or winter hiking to relaxing in one of the many Alpine spas.

But it’s skiing we missed the most, ideally followed by a hearty meal at a mountain-top restaurant, together with the locals.

The season has only just begun, and with more snow on the way, the pristine mountain air, blue skies and ample sunshine is what we all need right now.

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