French ski hosting ruling 'could impact visitor numbers'

French ski hosting ruling 'could impact visitor numbers'

The number of holidaymakers skiing in France could be hit by a court ruling that outlawed ski guide hosting by non-qualified instructors, including British tour operators.

A case was made against tour operator Le Ski in February stating that having British guides showing guests around the slopes compromised safety and broke French law. Le Ski is now to appeal the decision of a court in Albertsville.

The law in France now requires leaders of organised groups to be a qualified ski or snowboard instructor.

Simon Cross, managing director of Crystal Ski, said that while there would not be a "seismic shift" in visitor numbers opting to head to different locations, the decision would have a small effect.

He said if the ruling is not overturned on appeal, then skiers might venture away from France, which is currently the most popular destination for British skiers. France's market share for British skiers increased to 34.8% in the 2012/13 season.

Cross said: "To some people having the assistance of guides is really important because it is part of their holidays. It is something people are asking questions about.

"It is the biggest market for the UK and has been every year and I don't think that is going to change as a result but we have made it clear it is a retrograde step."

The company has suspended its social skiing service while the appeal goes through the courts.


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