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Published on Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Esprit Ski cancels winter programme as Inghams drops chalets


Esprit Ski has cancelled its entire winter programme while sister brands Inghams, Ski Total and Flexiski have dropped the majority of their chalets and chalet hotels for the season due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Parent company Hotelplan UK has also suspended trips to Finland until next winter.

Hotelplan said it was still hopeful that it can deliver the remainder of its ski programme once travel restrictions are lifted, especially since Inghams has seen a 50% increase in enquiries since new of a Covid-19 vaccine was announced.

Inghams plans to restart its programme, offering hotels and self-catering accommodation, in January. Chalet specialist Ski Total will continue with a small handful of properties in Italy and Austria.

Hotelplan UK CEO Joe Ponte said: "After much consideration, alongside the continual review of the latest restrictions and ongoing impacts of COVID-19-with customer and staff safety in mind, we have sadly decided to remove the chalets and chalet hotels Hotelplan UK manage in France from our 2020/21 winter ski season offering and suspend the Esprit Ski programme in its entirety for this winter.

"Due to the ongoing travel restrictions across the UK and Europe, combined with the unpredictable and constantly evolving situation of COVID-19, we are faced with uncertain operational challenges when it comes to running our successful childcare programmes, chalets and chalet hotels.

"Over the past few months, we've been busy reviewing what the chalet and childcare experience would look like and our top priority has always been to keep everyone safe. Whilst the current COVID-19 restrictions remain in place, we will have to make some significant operational changes to our holiday experiences-and we simply cannot guarantee the excellent childcare, great service and welcoming chalet experience that our customers know and love, on certain 2020/21 winter holidays."

Joe said he was hopes agents will encourage customers who've already booked a chalet or chalet hotel to switch to winter 2021/22, which has gone on sale early, or swap to a hotel or apartment instead. If they would prefer a refund, this will be arranged, he added.

Hotelplan UK managed chalets previously made up 10% of Inghams' winter ski programme.

From January 2021 onwards, the company intends to review its upcoming departures on a weekly basis and will postpone taking customer balance payments until four weeks prior to departure date until the situation changes.


By Linsey McNeill, Editor (UK)

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