The UK’s leading ski operator has launched free Covid-19 cover to protect its customers if they cannot travel this season
Crystal, the UK’s leading ski holiday operator, has confirmed that it won’t operate holidays to any destinations where customers need to quarantine, either when they arrive or when they return home, or to countries to which the Foreign Office (FCDO) advise against all non-essential travel.
As things stand this means it won’t be running its usual trips to France, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Norway, Andorra, Finland, Bulgaria, Canada or the USA this winter. Furthermore, with cases rising across Europe, this looks unlikely to change any time soon.
However, hopeful of an improvement in the situation, Crystal has announced it will be offering all its customers dedicated Covid-19 cover, which will assist them if they contract the virus while away on a ski holiday this winter.
The cover forms part of Crystal’s Holiday Promise package this winter – brought in to give customers peace of mind. It includes the ability to make free amendments to their holiday up to 28 days before departure, while anybody who tests positive, is asked to self-isolate, or is impacted by local lockdowns in the UK, also has the right to amend their trip.
“We understand that people may feel apprehensive about travelling in these uncertain times and we want to give our customers as much peace of mind as possible,” said Chris Logan, managing director of Crystal Ski Holidays.
“We are still some weeks away from the start of the season and we are currently preparing to operate as planned. But if restrictions impact our programme, or customers feel they would rather amend their travel dates, our holiday promise gives flexible options and additional protection.”
The operator is keen to stress this cover should be used alongside regular travel insurance. Skiers are urged to check the small print of their policies; many insurance providers do not cover those who choose to travel against FCDO advice.
The decision to cancel trips to countries deemed “unsafe” by the Government will be a blow to those skiers wishing to travel (and negotiate the various restrictions). They will need to make independent arrangements or search for a tour operator willing to offer packages.
A recent survey by the Mountain Trade Network found that the majority of skiers think operators and resorts need to do more to communicate rules and regulations this winter. Crystal will therefore be contacting all customers before their departure to update them on measures in resorts and a 24-hour helpline will be available for guests once they are on holiday.
Despite the current uncertainty Logan highlights the safety measures that are in place in ski resorts and how eager businesses there are to welcome back British skiers. “Mountain resorts across Europe have been open through summer and skiers have already been enjoying time on the glaciers,” said Logan.
“They are well prepared to welcome guests for the season and we now have a good picture of what holiday makers can expect. There may be a lot less après ski, but the fundamentals that make a ski holiday such a memorable experience – the snow, the fresh air, the exhilaration of the descent down the mountain – will remain the same.”