Desperate hotelier: France's tourist ban may cause us to fold

16 December 2021, 18:31 | Updated: 16 December 2021, 19:15

'90% of our turnover will be lost.'

By Tim Dodd

This caller who lets chalets to French Alp skiers told LBC that France's tourist ban will wipe out "90%" of his Christmas turnover and could cause the business to close.

It comes as France is banning travel to and from the UK without "compelling reasons" from Saturday morning over the rise in Omicron cases in the UK.

The caller told Shelagh Fogarty: "We're in the Ski industry and we rent multiple chalets out, mostly to British clients. We're a British based company with a branch in France as well.

"Obviously we got locked down the first time, and since then we've been working for two years, paying staff and everyone, and we've not had a single client, due to constant lockdowns.

"Then three weeks ago Omicron happened, and restrictions got made tighter, so we've been constantly dealing with client's emails and questions.

"And as of today Macron has closed borders to the English, which means about 90% of our turnover will be lost over the Christmas and New Year's weeks, and however long that goes on for."

Shelagh challenged pub owner who said NHS pressures 'aren't new'.

Read more: Whitty: Omicron is a 'serious threat' and people should socialise 'carefully'

The caller explained that no help is available from the French government because Ski resorts are still open, and that he had to continue to pay their workers in England despite not making any money for two years.

"We've been successful for twelve years before this and I can't see us making this forward", he said.

Shelagh clarified: "What, you think you'll fold?"

"I think we'll have to. If it continues past February or March, there's no way we can keep it going," the caller replied.

Read more: British tourists banned from visiting France as Omicron cases rise

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