Ski reservations in France have increased since the ban on British tourists was lifted

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Travel operators have reported an increase in bookings for French ski destinations after France lifted a ban on British tourists.

Jet2 and easyJet noticed an increase in searches and bookings within hours of the announcement.

The decision was also welcomed by ferry operators and the Eurostar cross-channel train carrier.

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Jet2 said customers took the opportunity to return to the slopes

That means that from Friday morning, fully vaccinated people will be able to enter France if they have evidence of a negative coronavirus test performed within 24 hours of departure.

The requirement for isolation on arrival will be eliminated.

It was a ban on travel to and from Britain without “convincing reasons”. put in place France last month in response to the expansion of the Omicron version.

Restrictions have now been eased when this version prevails in both countries.

The move provides an incentive for the besieged travel industry just in time for the winter ski season and comes after pre-departure tests for arrivals in the UK. were cut last week – a move that also gave elevator sector.

Jet2 CEO Steve Heapy said after the announcement by France that there had been a “sharp and immediate” increase in bookings for ski flights.

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“Many people haven’t had a vacation in two or three years”: Jet2 sees restrained demand

“The snow conditions in the French Alps are expected to be excellent, which means our customers are taking the opportunity to return to the slopes,” he said.

“This is even more great news for the travel industry and further strengthens our already strong belief that 2022 is a year we can look forward to with real confidence.”

Jet2 has announced that it will resume ski flights to Grenoble, Chambery and Lyon from 22 January and resume travel to Paris from 11 February.

Easyjet has also experienced an incentive to ease restrictions.

It read: “Following the French government’s announcement to lift the UK tourist ban, we have seen an initial increase in UK bookings in the coming weeks at our French destinations serving some of Europe’s most popular ski resorts, including Lyon and Grenoble.”

British Airways reported that British Airways Holidays, its subsidiary for package holidays, recorded a 44% increase in search for holiday holidays in France on Thursday afternoon compared to the previous day.

Chris Logan, CEO of Crystal Ski Holidays, Britain’s largest winter sports operator, said he was “excited” about the decision after a “challenging start to the season”.

Mr Logan said the company, owned by travel giant Tui, had already seen an increase in searches and bookings before the announcement and “to expect another very positive increase is now official”.

Passengers arrive from the Eurostar train at Gare du Nord train station in Paris on Wednesday, December 23, 2020. Goods and passengers from the UK began arriving on French coasts after a two-day blockade imposed by a new version of the coronavirus.  (AP Photo / Michel Euler) PIC: AP
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Eurostar said it was ready to increase services

Eurostar welcomed the announcement and said it was ready to increase services in the coming weeks.

Brittany Ferries CEO Christophe Mathieu said it was “a great relief” and expressed hope that “we have seen the last closure of the border due to the COVID crisis”.

He said: “We have all suffered a lot in the last two years.

“Thousands of Brittany Ferries passengers have been disrupted and millions of pounds of revenue have been lost due to draconian measures such as border closures.”

Abby Penlington, director of the industry body Discover Ferries, said: “France is one of the most popular holiday destinations for Britons and January is traditionally a critical month for tour operators as people start booking summer holidays.

“While the ferry industry continued to provide essential services across the English Channel while the border remained closed, we are confident that its reopening will provide a much-needed increase in reservations.”

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