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Thursday June 13, 2019 - Email this article to a friend

Scott Dunn cuts its catered chalets in the Alps at the end of next winter. It's another significant blow to the traditional chalet holiday. UPDATED


Scott Dunn is a specialist upmarket tour operator which has provided tailor-made winter and summer holidays worldwide since 1986.

It currently has 11 of its own freestanding fully-serviced ski chalets in Val d'Isere in the French Alps.

It also offers apartments and rooms in shared chalets.

The 11 chalets in the Alps - along with its serviced villas in the Mediterranean -  will go from the end of the 2019/20 winter season.

"The decision reflects the changing nature of travel to the Alps," the company says.

Scott Dunn says the catered chalets and villas have provided less than 10% of its revenue in the UK, but a lower proportion of its profit.

In other words, hanging on to them is not financially worthwhile.

"While the chalet business has remained stable in terms of revenue, growth in the other parts of the business has been much stronger and the cost of having resort staff has increased," Scott Dunn's Head of Operated Product, Kirsty Edwards, told PlanetSKI.

She said while demand for its catered chalets had remained 'stable', there had been in growth in demand for other types of ski holidays.

Customers are increasingly wanting "a wider range of destination choices and accommodation types, as well as an increased level of flexibility allowing for more varied length of stays."

Scott Dunn chaletScott Dunn chalet in the Alps

The decision of Scott Dunn has come as a surprise to some in the industry.

It's generally thought that the luxury end of the ski chalet market is most likely to survive as the middle-market and cheaper holidays decline.

As we have reported on PlanetSKI, many of the mass-market ski chalet operators are significantly cutting back for next winter.

Others are changing the service they offer.

And some have gone out of business altogether.


Others, like Ski Weekender, are sticking firmly to their specialisms:
Scott Dunn chaletScott Dunn chalet in the Alps




Now, the traditional chalet holiday model has taken a hit from one of the leading upmarket operators.

"Scott Dunn will still be offering guests a varied ski portfolio comprising of handpicked hotels and residences in Europe, North America and Japan," Kirsty Edwards told us.

"As the demand for ski experiences further afield in destinations beyond the Alps rises, Scott Dunn's team will focus on offering a wider selection of tailor-made ski experiences around the world."

It will continue to create bespoke ski itineraries, such as twinning skiing in Utah's Deer Valley with Lake Powell, or combining ski touring in the Dolomites with exploring Venice.

Its in-resort operations, including kids' clubs and full concierge service for all activities, are unaffected by the changes.

Scott Dunn chalet Scott Dunn chalet in the Alps


There has been some reaction over on the PlanetSKI Facebook page.

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