With current world events as they are, it would be foolish to pretend that everything is ‘business as usual’ in the Alps. The good news is that in my experience there is still plenty going on.
Restrictions are now starting to lift worldwide and travel has become an option again. Travel corridors have been introduced between the UK and all eight Alpine nations, which means that as of the time of writing there’s no requirement for British residents to quarantine at either end.
Though it’s important to accept that the situation is very much subject to change, Switzerland has actually been named as the safest country in the world for Covid-19.
Are there positive signs for the market?
There have been huge increases in the number of people viewing property listings in the region. Rightmove Overseas have announced a 75% increase on searches from this time last year. France has been a particularly popular search focus.
The Alpine property market is now fully open for business and there are some excellent deals to be had. People who have been property hunting online over the past few months are now able to freely travel to the region to view properties in person and make their plans a reality.
Covid-19 has certainly shaken up the industry in the Alps. This could be a great time to take advantage of investment opportunities.
What can we expect over the coming months?
Those businesses who have flourished over the last quarter are those who have been prepared to innovate.
There have been particularly good opportunities for tech companies and disrupters, but many other businesses have found ways to use technology to their advantage. For example, there have been great examples of training and consultancy providers switching seamlessly to online delivery models.
Innovation will continue to be important. Alpine businesses and tour operators will need to comply with local restrictions and safety precautions while still finding a way to provide a high quality and enjoyable experience for their customers.
History has taught us that economic downturns often lead to a flight to quality. There is likely to be significant demand at the top end, both in terms of property investments and the travel and leisure sector.
Many Alpine businesses are already preparing for this to be a reality.
What should we all keep in mind?
The number one thing to remember at the moment is that confidence is key. The more faith we have in the market – and the more resources we put into it – the more growth we’re likely to see.
Whether you’re involved in property or tourism, there are some real opportunities to be had right now.
The winners in the current market are those who know where to look… and those that aren’t afraid to think creatively.