The ski season in Kitzbühel officially began at the end of last month with a flurry of health and safety measures put in place so that everyone can travel this winter.
At present, selected slopes are open to professional skiers only, with the resort planning to open fully to the public on November 30th, when regional travel restrictions are due to come to an end.
In addition to adhering to the rules as set out by the local and national authorities, tourism providers in Kitzbühel have been working around the clock to ensure that guests can make the most of the town’s superb facilities, while experiencing a warm and heartfelt Tirolean welcome.
The winter sports season in Kitzbühel is one of the longest in the Alps, with more than 200 days of ski and boarding to enjoy each year between October and May in normal circumstances.
This season began the Saturday before last, when the Bergbahn AG Kitzbühel opened on the Resterhöhe, which is the training area of the Austrian and German ski teams.
More than 50 national and international squads registered to ski there, alongside a number winter sports clubs and junior teams.
New lockdown measures mean that holidaymakers will not be able to take to the pistes until the end of November, when full access to the slopes should resume, including to the world famous Hahnenkamm mountain, which is home to the legendary Streif.
So that everyone can fully enjoy their winter holiday, wearing a mask will be required in accommodation communal areas, in the waiting areas and on the ski lifts, and social distancing measures will be in place throughout.
Hand sanitiser will be widely available, and visitors will be able to dine out in confidence thanks to strict restaurant hygiene practices as directed by the ministry of health.
Pioneering UV-C light disinfecting processes will be in use at several locations, including at the impressive Aquarena swimming and spa centre.
During the season skiers will be able to use the four main lifts from the valley (Hahnenkamm, Fleckalm, Maierl, Wagstätt) from as early as 08:00, and a total of 11 lifts will be in operation to help the flow of visitors, meaning less time waiting and more time skinning.
Kitzbühel is leading the way with a comprehensive Covid-19 testing programme, with most accommodation providers working with the authorities to regularly test their staff.
Hotel employees have been able to receive free tests on a voluntary basis since July 1st, and this was extended to those in the catering industry on September 1st.
Ski instructors can now also take part in the programme, meaning almost everyone that holidaymakers come into contact with, will be regularly checked.
If required, visitors themselves will be able to take a rapid test at a dedicated screening station in the town, with results delivered in just three hours.
Visitors are encouraged to book ski passes online, meaning they can beat the queue and eliminate the possibility of creating congestion at the ticket office.
Images: Markus Mitterer and Michael Werlberger