‘Out of the question’: Struggling Austrian ski resorts reject ‘local discounts’ idea

'Out of the question': Struggling Austrian ski resorts reject 'local discounts' idea
Austria's ski resorts are currently closed. Photo: ALEXANDER KLEIN / AFP
Austria’s ski resorts, already struggling due to the ongoing coronavirus lockdown, have said they will not be offering local discounts to encourage people to hit the slopes if and when they open this season.

Andreas Gapp, the chairman of the specialist winter sport committee in the Vorarlberg Chamber of Commerce told ORF on Friday that locals discounts were “out of the question”. 

Gapp, who is also the managing director of Oberstdorf Kleinwalsertal Bergbahnen – one of the major ski fields in the state – said if a ski resort was making 100 percent of the usual offerings available, they should charge 100 percent of the price. 

Gapp said the costs for the operators were the same when the ski areas were running at full speed – while significant other costs had been incurred due to the ongoing lockdown. 

Can Austria save its ski season?

Snow is already beginning to fall on some of Austria’s best known ski slopes. 

But due to the coronavirus lockdown, the freshly fallen powder remains largely untouched – other than the tracks of the handful of professional skiers who are allowed to hit the slopes and ride the chairlifts. 

Austria’s ski season is worth millions and is the lifeblood of countless communities across the country. 

It was also the site of one of the world’s first superspreader event in the Spring. 

READ MORE: Austria's Ischgl ski resort 'mishandled coronavirus outbreak' 

Ever since, Ischgl and a number of other ski resorts all across Austria have implemented ‘hygiene and protection plans’ in an attempt to reduce the risk of transmission. 

READ: Everything you need to know about Austria's coronavirus lockdown

Andreas Steibl, the Director of Tourism at the Ischgl ski resort said more than €700,000 had been invested into that country’s hygiene and protection plan which “goes far beyond the government’s measures”. 

After ski parties have been cancelled, with no more loud music or bands – and drinks only available while seated in restaurants. 

Several Austrian ski areas have offered refundable tickets, saying customers will be able to get all of their money back if the slopes are closed due to coronavirus in order to entice wary winter travellers. 

 


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