This winter, UK-based ski chalet company Ski Beat is launching its first-ever “vegan weeks,” where it will promote vegan food to its customers.
Ski Beat offers catered chalet holidays in 54 chalets across nine ski resorts that are located in the French Alps. It prides itself on accommodating for “special dietary requirements be they for medical reasons, religious reasons or simple personal preference.”
But growing demand for plant-based foods is inspiring Ski Beat to do more for vegan travellers. “Ten years ago it was rare to be asked for special menus. Now, we have so many requests we are dedicating specific weeks this coming season especially for those who either cannot eat certain food types, or choose not to,” said Laura Hazell, Ski Beat’s Sales & Marketing Director, to Snow Guide.
In response, the company is making certain chalets vegan-friendly. “[F]or the first time this year we’re highlighting chalets for those who prefer a specific diet to enable them to book during our special weeks, with non-allergic friends or family who travel with them eating our usual menu,” Hazell said.
Reassuring guests that their food will be of high standard, she added that all chalet hosts are recruited through “MasterChef” inspired cookery days and then put through a training course which involves learning about menus designed for food intolerances and preferences.
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Last year, travel guide website Lonely Planet predicted that vegan and vegetarian travel would be 2018’s hottest travel trend. Plant-based vacations have become increasingly popular among not only vegans but meat-eaters too; the co-founder of Veggie Hotels, Thomas Klein, maintains that his global network of veggie and vegan hotels are popular with customers of all dietary preferences.
Due to this rising demand, vegan-friendly holidays have become not only a way for travel companies to improve their inclusivity and sustainability, but to also capitalize on the growing market.
Intrepid Travel, an adventure travel giant based in Australia, launched three vegan tour packages earlier this year, called “Vegan Food Adventures.” Leigh Barnes, the Chief Purpose Officer of the company, said, “as a responsible travel company that values purpose initiatives and sustainability in all aspects, we feel it’s important to encourage and celebrate vegan cultures and practices around the world as one way responsible travelers can help save our planet.”
Since then, UK hotel chain Travelodge has added vegan menu items to 180 of its on-site eateries, while Richard Branson’s new cruise ship, the Scarlet Lady, has a “vegetarian forward” signature restaurant. The ship’s dining concept is focused on reducing waste, lowering energy usage and carbon emissions, and making the Scarlet Lady the “future of sustainable sea travel.”
Ski Beat’s first “vegan weeks” will take place at the Chalet Cristal 5, Val d’Isere from the 15th December, and the Chalet Bouquetin, Les Arcs from the 5th January.
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