The frequentation of ski resorts during the February holidays fell by 48% compared to 2020, with an average occupancy rate of 33% on all the massifs, according to figures published Thursday by an association of elected officials.
The closure of ski lifts due to Covid-19 has led to a "
" in winter tourism, alarms the National Association of Mayors of Mountain Resorts (ANMSM) in a press release citing figures from the G2A cabinet, which collects data from many hosts.
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It's worse than that
", comments to AFP the president of the ANMSM, Jean-Luc Boch, who underlines the disparity between the stations: "
it is the big stations which lost the most
The areas located at altitude, rather more important, observe an occupancy rate of 26% over the February holidays which end on Sunday, down nearly 60%, when the low-altitude resorts are doing better, with a drop limited to 40% compared to 2020.
Over the entire 2020-2021 winter season, the forecast occupancy rate is 22.5%, i.e. -43% compared to the previous season, which had already been cut at its end, in March 2020.
Ancillary activities "are not viable"
Even if there is a little attendance,
” explains Jean-Luc Boch, “
economically, it doesn't work.
What saves the mountain is the ski lifts, the skiing
He estimates that around 10% of the turnover in this sector will be achieved this year.
The ancillary activities (snowshoes, sledging, dog sledding, cross-country skiing ...), "
it feels good psychologically
", but, he regrets, "
it is not viable
Especially since the activity is highly seasonal: "
if you close the stations for four months, you close the economic activity of the territory all year round
", continues Jean-Luc Boch, mayor of Plagne Tarentaise.
According to Domaines skiable de France, which represents the sector, the four weeks of February holidays represent 35% of annual activity, usually around 10 billion euros spent nationally in the resort.