With over a million Brits planning a Winter Sports holiday this season, ABTA is launching a new campaign to encourage travellers to ‘Get Fit for Ski’, providing health & safety advice and recommended warm-up exercises. To coincide with this campaign, ABTA, in partnership with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and Ski Club Great Britain, has also developed a Winter Sports Checklist with advice and tips for skiers.
“A little preparation can help ensure your skiing holiday goes without a hitch,” said Nikki White, Head of Destinations and Sustainability, ABTA. “It’s not unusual to be out on the slopes for 4-6 hours at a time, yet many people go straight into a ski or snowboarding holiday without doing any training or preparation first. Preparing before you go can help prevent injury and ensure you don’t miss out on the fun. Additionally, having the right equipment, knowing your limits when it comes to après ski and buying appropriate insurance, will all help your holiday go smoothly.”
Being prepared is all the more important as new ABTA research* shows that only 41% of holiday makers check their insurance covers activities such as skiing, paragliding or water sports before participating in them. This goes down to just 34% of 15-24 year olds and 37% of men, supporting beliefs that these groups are more willing to take risks. The figures suggest that holidaymakers are putting themselves at risk of expensive medical costs, for example, it could cost up to £40,000 to be treated for a fractured leg in the United States, or £8,000 to treat a knee injury in Austria*.
Top tips from the ABTA/FCO and Ski Club GB Winter Sports Checklist include:
Before you go:
Lynda St Cooke from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, said: “We strongly advise anyone hitting the slopes this winter to take out comprehensive travel insurance and make sure you have an up to date EHIC card. Don’t forget to check the small print – most insurance policies will not cover you if you’re under the influence of alcohol or venture off-piste. If you’re unlucky enough to have an accident and you’re not covered, you could find yourself thousands of pounds out of pocket.”
“Skiing is a holiday but also a sport so it’s always a good idea to prepare on the run up to the season in preparation – we advise you start at least 8 weeks prior to your holiday. Being fit will not only improve endurance on the slopes but helps to prevent injury. Strong muscles help to protect joints and also enhance your performance so the fitter you are, the more you can achieve on the slopes and the more you’ll enjoy yourself,” said Vicky Norman, PR Manager, Ski Club GB.
* Source: Europ Assistance
* ABTA 2011 Consumer Trends Survey
To see more about the campaign and download the “How to Have a Safe and Healthy Holiday in the snow” leaflet and Winter Sports checklist visit www.abta.com/getfitforski