High prices during peak weeks are, like charging supplements for people travelling on their own, one of those things that have become a fixture of the holiday industry and for which, with some justification, the industry gets a hard time. I’ve written about single supplements before, but why are such high prices charged during the school holidays? Is it a cynical attempt to exploit Mums and Dads with ski-crazy children who have very little choice but to come in the holidays?
I can’t speak for every company, of course, but I can tell you that in our case it’s not. Here’s why
Let’s start at the beginning, traditionally the best place to start.
We were left high and dry in early 2020 when Covid struck. Stuck at home all summer, we (that is, a group of chalet hosts) realised that it was very likely that our winters in the French Alps were over. To make sure that didn’t happen, we created Ski First Tracks, figuring that if we were masters of our own destiny, then our winters in the sun and the snow would be secured. Although it had to be formed as a (French) company, we wanted it to be more like a club. It wasn’t and isn’t our intention to make pots of money, just enough for a healthy business, so that we could spend our winters skiing in the Alps with like-minded people – colleagues and guests alike.
The good news arising from that rather selfish approach is that our prices are as low as they possibly can be given that we have to operate under the relatively expensive French regime. Thanks Brexit. I have avoided a rant, but I may not be able to avoid one in the future 😏.
Which brings me back to holiday prices. In our case, although those prices are high (but lower than most others), our other prices are comparatively low. We can’t just reduce the holiday prices, as we wouldn’t have enough income to operate. In other words, Mums and Dads coming in the holidays are effectively subsidising all the other weeks. The obvious answer is to even it out a bit, reducing the holiday prices and adding a bit onto all our other prices. But that would mean our low- and mid-season prices were uncompetitive; I know our guests are very loyal, but we wouldn’t want to test it too much!
So trying to make things more equitable is not that simple, but we are determined to work something out before next year. In the meantime, if you book the peak weeks* before the end of November, we are offering you the chance to pay just half the advertised adult price for your children**.
*Peak weeks are:
- 8 day ‘week’ commencing the 18th December 2022
- Week commencing the 26th December 2022
- Week commencing the 12th February 2023
- Week commencing 19th February 2023
** I don’t mean you need to pay us for your children. They’re yours already, obviously 🤔