The pandemic hit the tourism industry hard in 2020, but this year was also challenging, and Compagnie des Alpes was forced to close all its mountain resorts due to COVID-19 restrictions. However, they used this lull in activity to rethink their offers, particularly their mountain activities, in order to appeal to a new client base. This development focus was made possible thanks to its financial partners, namely Natixis CIB.
Loïc Bonhoure, Managing Director of Compagnie des Alpes, explains the challenges his team faced and bears witness to the support provided by Natixis, which allowed him to continue his work and start the 2021 winter season under the best possible conditions.
ABOUT THE COMPANY
Compagnie des Alpes owns around 10 French ski resorts, including Tignes-Val d’Isère La Plagne ou Méribel. It also has around 10 amusement parks in France, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland and Austria . The group is renowned for its hospitality services and is also the leading company for booking alpine stays online.
Compagnie des Alpes has strong ambitions regarding the environment. Conscious of the impact of global warming on the winter sport industry, the group is committed to reaching carbon neutrality by 2030. It already uses 100% green electricity and is now focusing on its snow groomers which are the principal source of its emissions. It has also started work on maximizing the energy efficiency of its buildings.
THe sTAKES OF dEvelopment ARE HIGH
French resorts are in competition with Swiss and Austrian sites but also with tourism agencies who offer short stays in European cities. That is why the company attaches such importance to customer service and must enhance its offers to respond to client needs.
THE COMMITMENTS OF financiAL PLAYers AND OF Natixis
With state support, a PGE (Loan guaranteed by the state) and the support of its financial partners, Compagnie des Alpes was not only able to continue expanding its offers and investments but also keep jobs for all its employees.
In particular, the company relied on the funding of two local financial aids from Groupe BPCE, Banque Populaire Auvergne Rhône Alpes and Caisse d’Epargne Rhône Alpes to extend its funding, and on Natixis CIB, another subsidiary of Groupe BCPE, who accompanied it as a global coordinator in its capital increase operations.
With a total amount of 231 million euros, this operation aimed to reinforce the Compagnie des Alpes’ own funding and enable it to finance its development projects. This operation also aims to accelerate the ecological transition of the group who are working towards 3 key goals by 2030: zero carbon emissions, no waste products and a positive impact on biodiversity.
The alpine economy represents 16 billion euros for ski resorts in France
2.5 billion euros or 16% of this is spent on ski lifts