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Crystal drop all chalets

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Nemesis: Very true regarding Switzerland. It became unprofitable for TOs almost overnight, hence their departure en masse.

Austria was slightly different and the effect was not as prohibitive.

France did also tighten up their enforcement considerably and applied pressure at EU level, hence the revisions to the Posted Workers Directive. However, secondment continued to be possible and so did the common TO business model. Post Brexit (Transition period), a lot less so with much more uncertainty. And then factor in the Covid issue as well, just for good measure.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I always enjoyed whatever chalet hols I took, summer and winter, usually a good mix of people and a social atmosphere you could be involved in as much or as little as you liked (always assuming you didn't freak out at the prospect of sharing a dining table with then strangers). Hotels just aren't quite the same. The thought of no longer having a late booking spur of the moment option (particularly if you are a single skier) is a reduction in the breadth of skiing opportunities
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Never found any good late single deals. Most operators in my experience would rather have an empty room than single occupancy, and thus have not been on a chalet holiday for many years but some fond memories of excellent, good and mediocre. But the world has moved on and so many more people seem happy to self cater as a more economic option for a family. If I can find it I will still B&B in Austria but even those are gradually folding into apartments. Again not so good for the single traveller.
ski holidays
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Fridge03 wrote:
Afternoon all,

Nothing official I've seen, but looks like Crystal have dropped all chalets for the upcoming season. Hardly surprising, which is a shame because we are big fans of a catered chalet. Hopefully the chalets will be picked up by smaller, independants or available via airbnb etc?


It's now official:

CRYSTAL CONFIRMS - NO CHALET HOLIDAYS THIS SEASON
but they still have plenty of other choices for skiers and snowboarders.
Rumours started circulating on various social media platforms earlier today that Crystal Ski, part of the Tui, group, had pulled all their ski chalets holidays for this season. A spokesperson has now provided a statement which says:
"Sadly, due to the impact of covid-19, Crystal Ski Holidays is no longer operating a chalet programme for the winter 2020/2021 season.
"We’re sorry for any disappointment but the health and safety of our customers is our top priority.
"There are still a range of great ski holiday options available to choose from, including self catering apartments to half board hotels.
"We’re proactively contacting everyone affected to discuss a full range of flexible options available, including amending to an alternative ski holiday, or cancelling and receiving a full refund."
ski holidays
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Great management. May still have leases to honour but no staff to pay and, if no demand, pass the loss onto hotels and consolidate flights and transfers.

As a shareholder, good management, as a skier yuck.
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In a chalet you'd generally mix more closely with your host and fellow guests, which means a higher covid risk. They are going to struggle to make their usual sales, so want to reduce the amount of accommodation they have committed to. It makes sense that chalets would be the first to go.
ski holidays
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
A combination of "do-gooder" regulators (working hours, minimum wage, food safety, banning taking kids out of school), and protectionist lobbying (transfers, guiding, hoteliers), have made the previously very successful (for brits) catered-chalet model economically non-viable. Now the ski industry is in decline and saying "what happened to all the British customers?" rolling eyes . Brexit and covid are the nail in the coffin. Sad
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
The chairman of Skiworld is here atm, if I see him in the bar I'll ask what their plans are. I think they own many of their chalets.
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shep wrote:
A combination of "do-gooder" regulators (working hours, minimum wage, food safety, banning taking kids out of school)

An interesting take - personally I am all in favour of people getting a good wage for a good days work and for having food safety.

shep wrote:
, and protectionist lobbying (transfers, guiding, hoteliers), have made the previously very successful (for brits) catered-chalet model economically non-viable. Now the ski industry is in decline and saying "what happened to all the British customers?" rolling eyes . Brexit and covid are the nail in the coffin. Sad

The ski industry is in decline for a number of reasons some of which you have stated yourself. The specific decline of the catered-chalet model is part of that plus some.
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Claude B wrote:
The chairman of Skiworld is here atm, if I see him in the bar I'll ask what their plans are. I think they own many of their chalets.


Following this post. We have booked a catered chalet in alpe d'Huez for Christmas with ski world. We have sole occupancy of a 8 pers chalet. Although we booked back in February before all the mess.
ski holidays
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Yes just my take, in the old days we had the opportunity to make our own eyes-open decisions regarding the value of the "lifestyle" element of living the life and skiing (nearly) every day. The well-meaning drive to quash "exploitation" hasn't made things fairer, it's just helped deny youngsters from having that opportunity all together.

Food safety was there before (at least to the degree it is now), but the recent over-regulation mean it's too stressful and expensive to comply for small chalet companies to cater in house. Hence the shift to self-catered or meals on wheels.

I don't deny there are other factors, but I rue the self-harm skiing has done itself, and some of the misguided nanny-state intervention.
ski holidays
 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Claude B wrote:
The chairman of Skiworld is here atm, if I see him in the bar I'll ask what their plans are. I think they own many of their chalets.

They used to own a few, like the Trois S in Courchevel 1550/Villages (and may still own that now-redeveloped site), but I think most are leased for the season.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
I think there is still a market for 'whole-chalet' bookings, for family groups or group of friends But this might mean a move towards smaller chalets, say 6-8 rather than 10-14, and a consequent increase in price.

shep wrote:
Food safety was there before (at least to the degree it is now), ...
Although IME it has become more common in recent years, a least in France, to see a visit from hygiene inspectors during the week. No idea if this is because inspections have become more frequent across the board, or whether a particular chalet has already had some problems that season Sad
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@shep 'The well-meaning drive to quash "exploitation" hasn't made things fairer ...'

I'd disagree. Surely, it's made things a lot fairer for the locals who were excluded from jobs because British operators ferried-in underpaid youngsters from the UK. Yes, this has closed-off an employment channel for British people, but opened-up opportunities for locals who depend on the seasonal work to make a living. The Swiss are under no obligation to organise their employment rules to favour unviable British chalets operators based in the UK, especially if it degrades the opportunities for locals. This is nothing to do with 'nanny state' intervention - it's a meaningless phrase anyway.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@LaForet, This hasn't closed off employment opportunities to British people - au contraire.

The opportunity still exists for British people, but if they do get the job they will be paid and treated in accordance with local legislation - which is a good thing (for them - less for the customer as their holiday will cost more).

They just need to get their ducks in a row and get the relevant permit for Suisse, or CdS for France ( neither of which is particularly difficult, it just requires some commitment).
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Mr.Egg wrote:
@Dave of the Marmottes,

haha blamming brext. rolling eyes



I have worked in ski travel tour operation and agency for over 20 years and can assure you that Brexit has provided no benefits and catastrophic consequences. There are no positives to Brexit.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
WindOfChange wrote:
Many operators were flouting the French employment laws well before the 2016 vote.
The chance of detection and punishment is the same now, however it's much easier for a company to pay fines when they have solid cashflow, strong revenue projection, healthy margins and decent cash reserves.
So the risk to the business is much greater now that the financial comfort blankets are removed.
The risk vs reward paradigm is so strongly reversed now (again more thru Covid than Brexit) that if the operators staffed their operations on French contracts, the increase in cost passed to the customers would render the notion of cheap chalet holidays non-existent.
The USP is therefore lost, and you are entering a very different space with higher end and niche operators who use their small size and flexibility as a strength for individually tailored holidays, whereas in the budget market this is a weakness.
There's still people offering catered chalet holidays in France, but its smaller companies and those who were already operating with French staffed contracts, and those with skin in the game thru chalet ownership.
A few years ago the mass chalet market was becoming a race to the bottom, but with the bottom being removed the market is evolving to reflect the new landscape, and with it the offerings available.



Very true. I suspect that Crystal's nail in the coffin was hammered home yesterday by the government saying they felt comfortable with breaking international law in respect of the withdrawal agreement. Those dealing with the reality of Brexit and the provision of UK staffed ski holidays know that the government's bull headed and cantankerous showboating will win no concessions from previously semi-sympathetic EU member states. Indeed, quite the opposite - a Gallic shug and a "non" is now the only possible outcome.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
WindOfChange wrote:
@LaForet, , or CdS for France ( neither of which is particularly difficult, it just requires some commitment).


Really? For a french carte de Sejour it is necessary to be permanently resident in France by the end of 2020, to be paying tax in France, to have adequate health cover and to satisfy whatever the threshold will be for monthly income. A CdS can then be applied for online on the system being set up for Les Britaniques between October 2020 and June 2021.
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Claude B wrote:
WindOfChange wrote:
@LaForet, , or CdS for France ( neither of which is particularly difficult, it just requires some commitment).


Really? For a french carte de Sejour it is necessary to be permanently resident in France by the end of 2020, to be paying tax in France, to have adequate health cover and to satisfy whatever the threshold will be for monthly income. A CdS can then be applied for online on the system being set up for Les Britaniques between October 2020 and June 2021.


Agreed, it is a lot more complicated than implied.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
And intended for permanent residency not for seasonal workers at all.
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Snowfinders wrote:


Very true. I suspect that Crystal's nail in the coffin was hammered home yesterday by the government saying they felt comfortable with breaking international law in respect of the withdrawal agreement.


The French would just do it and not bother informing anyone. That just shows how shambollicks BoJo is.
ski holidays
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Snowfinders wrote:
Claude B wrote:
WindOfChange wrote:
@LaForet, , or CdS for France ( neither of which is particularly difficult, it just requires some commitment).


Really? For a french carte de Sejour it is necessary to be permanently resident in France by the end of 2020, to be paying tax in France, to have adequate health cover and to satisfy whatever the threshold will be for monthly income. A CdS can then be applied for online on the system being set up for Les Britaniques between October 2020 and June 2021.


Agreed, it is a lot more complicated than implied.


It really isn't - like I said it requires commitment:
Step 1 : Rent a place in France
Step 2 : get a job
Step 3 : Apply for CdS
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Claude B wrote:
And intended for permanent residency not for seasonal workers at all.


Yes.

You need a work permit to work (autorisation de travail). There are a number of different types.

At work we deal with permits for people coming for up to a year on work placement and "talent" permits for post-docs but there are permits for temporary workers. The process is complicated.

The residency carte de sejour, readily available to Brit residents up to the 1 Jan 2021 will also act as an autorisaton de travail, no need for a work permit. Note that you will have to declare your worldwide income in France for tax and social insurance purposes if you become a resident.

For season work there is a saisonnaire's permit which lets you work 6 months in any year. The procedure requires the employer to first try and recruit within the EU.
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@WindOfChange,
Quote:

This hasn't closed off employment opportunities to British people - au contraire.



As one of those British youngsters who spend their winters in the alps, I can promise you it has closed off many opportunities. The issue being that it's actually pretty tough to organise a job with a french firm (unless you're in france) and co-ordinate this with a renting a property (unless you've get a few thousand quid just laying about to pay rent while you find work).

With the uncertainty that Covid has created, there aren't many firms who are hiring new starters and those are hiring will only look at an application if you have an EU Passport.

I've worked with a big UK Tour Operator for last season and i'm lucky enough to be heading back out (fingers crossed) this season...but i can tell you that many British youngsters will not be able to complete a season this year because we all work for British companies and they're mostly giving up on running catered chalets. This is obviously great for the youngsters in the EU, but it's very very annoying for us Brits.
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Welcome to snowHeads @CharlesLH snowHead

Thanks for the first-hand perspective.
I imagine it's infuriating for skint school leavers and students saddled with 10's of thousands of debt to be told by the well-off middle-aged that "It's as easy as ever".
Not all 20-somethings have a few G's to drop on an apartment 'on spec' in the hope of subsequently finding a job.

I recently overheard a couple of university students were discussing wanting to take 'a year abroad'. One was saying that the options that they're older sibling had had to choose from, a few years back, were simply non-existent now.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
The Chalets Direct website has a Ski & Board Jobs page. It is used to find jobs and to find workers and is predominantly for independent chalets rather than TOs. My two children used to use it when they worked seasons.

Normally at this time of the year it is very busy indeed.

The most recent post on the page is 11th July. Only one job offer in total for this season.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Just had a quick scan of Ski-jobs and Seasonworker where we have found jobs in the past - a small fraction of normal numbers, and a substantial proportion of those are asking for EU passports.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Going back to the whole point of Brexit. It's to stop the "free movement" of Europeans TO UK. Isn't it obvious the reverse is also true?

It doesn't stop ALL movements. Just making it more difficult, both ways. Those who're in favor of Brexit care more about the EU->UK movement. Those who want to work in EU are affected similarly as a result. There's no need to argue about it.

Just have to accept the reality and figure out what's necessary to accomplish the same in this new reality.
ski holidays
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@abc, You're forgetting that you're not dealing with a rational world. Brexit was sold on a lie of asymmetry. "we're going to stop {perceived or made up bad thing in UK} but of course you'll still be able to freely do {thing} where you want just as you could before the EU existed". Eggy may even actually believe that the damage to UK TOs has nothing to do with Brexit. He's wrong of course, but Coronaflage will be used by lot of Brexiteers to deny problems they created.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
From my perspective, those who still want to do a season will do a season...but we'll be looking to places like Canada, USA, Japan etc because if it's gonna take the same amount of planning, hoop jumping and funds then why not?

there won't be much difference for consumers, except your chalet host will have a European accent rather than an English accent, chalets are a very viable and lucrative business if run correctly and i'm sure there'll be many chalet owners across the alps who will be happy to hire a team of youngsters from EEA countries for a season to service demand once Covid-19 is no longer an issue.

Quote:

Just have to accept the reality and figure out what's necessary to accomplish the same in this new reality.


On the point of brexit, that's the issue...people voting to end 'something' they don't like that probably has no tangible effect on them, but a very tangible effect on others.
ski holidays
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Dave of the Marmottes, most people aren't rational. People look at a big house and think only of the extra space they get to use, oblivion of the extra burden of the mortgage etc.

Some people are more rational than others. A "discussion" like this is to some a place to get a reality check. For others a place to look for justification to reconfirm their mistake.

I offer my opinion for those who have an open mind. For the latter, I mostly ignore them. No point in wasting my time arguing with them. Let them live in their own world.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
We’ve stayed in Chalet Violetta many times . Fabulous atmosphere, and love Canazei. This is very sad
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Just received a curious and more than slightly troubling email from travel company saying that they were pushing back requiring payment of final balance on trip to St Anton on 11 December from 19 September to 10 October - after having previously sent two reminders for 19 September payment date very recently.

Is an announcement expected in Tyrol/ Austria/ St Anton regarding the start of the season and opening (currently 4 December)?

Or is COVID-19 making me paranoid Sad
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@Snowsartre, apparently there will be an EU-wide policy on travel corridors announced in early October, so it seems wise that UK TOs would wait until then.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@queenie pretty please, what date in October? Or have they just been really vague with “October”?
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should have said this is a chalet booking on exclusive use - flights with TUI LGW-INNS (perhaps TUI is about to go bust....again..)
ski holidays
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@queenie pretty please, is this the 50/10,000 cases being reported in press today? Exceed the 50 rate and the whole of the EU is closed to you - whether internal or external travel to an EU Member State.
ski holidays
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@NickyJ, not sure if there are firm dates or plans yet, but it seems a good number of EU member states are keen on having a standardised approach. It's in discussion now, with early October given as a potential announcement of the decision reached, so it seems sensible that travel companies are acting cautiously.
ski holidays
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@Snowsartre, no idea what is in the UK press, I tend to avoid it. This was part of an EU round-up on German TV news.
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@queenie pretty please, thanks!
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