The famous French ski resort in the French Alps has lost 90% of its customers this year, but remains afloat thanks to wealthy Arab tourists and, in the long run, Brazilian holidaymakers. The ban on entry into the European Union, sanctions in various sectors of the economy for a number of ultra-rich Russians have provoked a massive cancellation of reservations in Courchevel – one of the world’s most luxurious resorts.
According to Businessinsider, the owner of a ski school located in the French alpine resort of Courchevel, said most of his high-ranking Russian clients canceled reservations after the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24. Filippo Casaccha of Ski5 Star, a private ski instructor, said his company is popular with Russia’s wealthy tourists and wealthy Arabs, including the royal family. According to him, at the beginning of the war the business was stable. But then his Russian clients came under sanctions, and the ski school lost 90% of its Russian clients.
However, rich Arab tourists partially saved his business and the resort from desolation. “We are lucky because we are still working with the Arabs, which compensates for the absence of Russians,” he explained.
Wealthy Russians have left luxury ski resorts since the war began. Their disappearance, especially in the most exclusive area of Courchevel 1850, which is characterized by privacy and convenience of trails, worried the owners of elite chalets. One of them said that there was already a noticeable lack of requests for the next year from the Russians, who usually booked more expensive facilities. These are chalets, the cost of renting which reaches $ 250’000 per week. At the same time, it is especially pessimistic for French businessmen that a whole infrastructure has been created for the needs of Russian tourists, which has now proved unnecessary under sanctions.
Five-star hotels in Courchevel have also been affected by fewer Russian holidaymakers. The head of the booking department of Six Senses Residences and Spa Angela Lavandier pointed out that after February 24, almost all solvent Russian guests sent their deposits for the next ski season.
At the same time, according to the publication, some Russians have recently had difficulty paying hotel bills. And some of the staff at the Courchevel hotel allegedly mentioned that at least $ 1,000,000 was “hanging” in unpaid bills from Russian oligarchs.
Earlier, Russian oligarchs complained about the difficulties with which they disappeared under Western sanctions. So, last month, billionaire billionaire Peter Aven told the Financial Times that he was trying hard to pay the bills and “did not understand how to survive” amid fines imposed on him.
At the same time, Russian tourists in a conversation with representatives of the resorts refer to the general reasons for canceling the reservation, without going into details and without giving exact details about visiting the French resort. Instructor Casaccha added that there were no reservations from the Russians next year, and that he and his team were “unsure” of the prospects. “I think it will be more than a year before they return. The situation will not stabilize until next winter, ”the expert made such a forecast.
Without wealthy Russian customers, French businessmen intend to work to expand their customer base, focusing on building relationships with the recent influx of Brazilian customers. “This winter we found many Brazilians because they could not go to America because of the COVID-19 rules, so they were attracted to the ski resorts in Courchevel,” he said.
Earlier, the DIP wrote that in the opposite direction, too, are looking for a replacement for the massive Russian tourist flow. Read the details in the article “Thailand has found a replacement for Russian tourists, writing them off permanently.”
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