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Wednesday July 10, 2019 - Email this article to a friend

Les3Vallees is concerned over the impact of Brexit. It's giving its full support to UK tour operators as they prepare.



The new head of Les3Vallees, Olivier Desaulty,  says it is essential that British seasonal ski workers could be employed in France easily and quickly after the UK leaves the European Union.

"For me, the future will be hard," he says, "but we have got to be together to try to make things better.

"We are the French leaders of the mountain. We have got to be 3 Valleys united against everything that is happening and against Brexit."

He has been talking to PlanetSKI at an event in London to launch next winter's activities in Les3Vallees.

Olivier DesaultyOlivier Desaulty, Les3Vallees in London


















Olivier Desaulty is backing up his strong words with action.

He has been influential in getting the UK ski firms in the organisation Seasonal Businesses in Travel (SBIT) access to key French politicians to make their case.

He has also helped translate documentation for the organisation SBIT.

They have met the Minister for Foreign Affairs in Paris and the local MP in the Savoie, Vincent Rolland.

SBIT in FranceWith SBIT at the French Ministry for Foreign Affairs
















The support of the movers and shakers in Les3Vallees is worth having.

It is the largest linked ski area in the world with more than 600km of pistes.

Its main resorts are hugely popular with British skiers and snowboarders - Courchevel, Meribel, Val Thorens, Les Menuires.

















Olivier Desaulty comes to his new job from leading the sales and marketing team in Meribel.

"We have been very much affected by the chalet losses," he said.

"This coming season Meribel is losing nearly 100 out of 1,000 chalet beds. That's almost 10 per cent of our turnover."

He told us the situation was much the same in Courchevel and St Martin de Belleville, which have a lot of chalet accommodation.

















Tour operators have told PlanetSKI that they are cutting back on their chalet operations for the 2019-20 season because of the rise in costs and likely difficulties employing seasonaires such as chalet hosts and reps.

Zenith Holidays has reduced its catered chalet offering for next season and is offering more self-catered options as well as their hotels.

Other smaller operators suffered in the past winter and have cut beds for this coming season.

The UK's largest independent ski specialist, Skiworld, is reducing the number of its in-resort reps by around 30%.

It is also favouring applications for its seasonal ski chalet jobs from passport-holders from countries that remain in the EU, such as Ireland.

Skiworld chaletSkiworld chalet















"Amongst the top four catered chalet operators, chalet beds are projected to be down next season by 38% compared to the figure in April 2016," Diane Palumbo, Skiworld's Sales and Marketing Director, told us.

The travel association, ABTA, is lobbying the UK government and its EU counterparts to agree reciprocal labour rules.

It says it's vital there is a system where travel companies can continue to post workers abroad.

See our earlier story with more on this:

Other French ski areas have taken a stand in their opposition to Brexit.
There has been some early reaction to this story on the PlanetSKI Facebook page:

Facebook reactionFacebook reaction

The UK was meant to leave the EU on 29th March this year.

The latest deadline for leaving is 31st October 2019.

"There is no question that the French ski resorts that rely heavily on the British are very worried. There was a sharp decline in bookings for last winter after March 29th and that is likely to happen again until people see the lie of the land after October 31st," said the PlanetSKI editor, James Cove.

"Many people I have spoken to want to ski next winter but are considering not booking until after October 31st. This could cause huge problems for operators where the months of September, October and November represent one of the main booking periods."

"Expect many more people to be heading to hotels and self-catering options."

BrexitB-Day 31st October?














We published a series of guides ahead of the original leaving date, based on the facts known at the time.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: Number One for ski news

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