As a result of the Austrian government press conference, and following a joint decision from the committee and supervisory board at Silvrettaseilbahn AG, the 20/21 winter season in Ischgl has now been cancelled. The Austrian governmental press conference lacked any medium-term prospects for tourism.
Ischgl put extensive investment and plans, with regard to health and safety standards, in place for the season – nonetheless this winter there will not be one day of skiing in resort.
The differing regulations in Austria and Switzerland have made it impossible to open the cross-border ski area from Ischgl to – the still open – Swiss Samnaun region. The contrasting regulatory requirements in Austria and Switzerland, along with uncertainties still linked to the pandemic, have meant that confidence has waned further in the past weeks. The latest policy announcements regarding commencement of ski operations this winter have made all requisite preparations by Silvrettaseilbahn AG unrealistic.
Markus Walser and Günther Zangerl, Executive Managers at Silvrettaseilbahn AG, say: “It was, and is, essential for us that no unnecessary risk be taken, after all the health of guests, staff and locals is the top priority. Unfortunately the pre-conditions for commencing border-spanning ski operations in the Silvretta Arena have gradually deteriorated in the past few weeks; in view of the still worrisome occurrences of infection, tightened travel restrictions and a lack of prospects for opening measures for the hotel and catering sector, commencing ski operations is less tenable than ever. There was no alternative than to make a decision to no longer continue with the winter season”.
Although skiing isn’t possible, winter sports will continue to be available in the Paznaun ski areas of See, Kappl and Galtür over the next few weeks. The trails between Ischgl and Galtür, along with the winter hiking paths that are managed by the Paznaun – Ischgl tourist association, will also remain open.
Alexander von der Thannen, chairman of Paznaun – Ischgl tourist association, says: “It does of course break our hearts that in view of the perfect snow and piste conditions, and the dreamy weather this winter, that we are unable to welcome guests. At the same time it was a core objective for us in the valley to provide a comprehensive range of winter sports for locals”.
As the temperature increases, Ischgl is already looking forward to what summer will bring, and highlights the next winter season will start on 25 November 2021.
A representative from the Tourist Office says: “It is clear that people are yearning for travel and a holiday in the mountains”.