France is a very popular destination for skiers and provides many locations where athletes and amateurs go to ski. There are resorts and private companies offering tours, excursions and other similar services to people from around Britain and other countries.
However, one recent phenomenon is seeing British ski hosts using French resorts in order to provide holiday packages, and French authorities hate the practice. As a result, these ski hosts have been banned from practising at French resorts, which is a decision condemned by Julian Sambles.
Some of the reasons brought forth by the authorities include safety concerns and unfair competition, but the result is that holidaymakers will end up going elsewhere with this new law in effect. It seems like the French tourism authorities did not think of the economic consequences of such a decision, and that the benefits British ski hosts have been lost on their recent thought processes.
According to the Ski Club of Great Britain, ski hosts are beneficial to the economy in France, and do not provide disloyal competition, both from a financial standpoint along with a marketing one, bringing more tourism to France than the country would otherwise have. There are dozens of British tour operators who employ these hosts for trips to the Alps and while the local resorts may not get any extra income from tours or excursions, the local environment sees a great increase in traffic.
The role of the ski host is to show people around resorts and trails, and helps relieve the need for tourists from looking at maps every couple of minutes. Groups are often split according to their abilities and taste, and they are sent to various locations based on preferences. While this may cut into some of the local businesses, they still need to end up meeting at a restaurant, bar or hotel, which brings foreign money to the French economy.