Major UK Ski Operator Cancels All Chalet holidays in France

Hotelplan UK runs Inghams, Ski Total, Esprit and Flexiski.  Holidays to Finland go too. It is another body blow for UK skiers and snowboarders in these Covid-19 times.  

“After much consideration, alongside the continual review of the latest restrictions and ongoing impacts of COVID-19, we have sadly decided to remove the chalets and chalet hotels Hotelplan UK manage in France from our 2020/21 winter ski season offering,” said Hotelplan UK CEO, Joe Ponte.

It has also cut the Esprit Ski programme for the whole winter.

Esprit Ski offered family ski holidays and is a market leader.

It is a major blow for many.

“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,” continued Joe Ponte.

Hotelplan had already cancelled its holidays for December, and now a major part of its programme for the rest of the winter has ended.

In the summer it closed its HQ in Godalming in Surrey and moved to smaller premises, Hotelplan UK to close offices and cut jobs.

One PlanetSKI reader has had her holiday cancelled and gave us this reaction.

“Sadly, I have just received an email from Ski Total who are suspending all their chalet and chalet hotel programme to France for the whole season. We were a group due to try and go again to Val in March, so pretty gutted.”

Ski Total

Ski Total

There has been further reaction on the PlanetSKI Facebook page:.

Scott Fraser: Sad but probably at this stage inevitable.

Richard J Stephens: & VIP ski gone as well. It’s a bad week for UK skiers / boarders.

Nick Davies: Stay strong people.. there are still options to stay in the lovely resort of Val D’Isere… there will still be beds and buildings available to rent

Sue Pierpoint: We are gutted, but understand their reasons. We are a group of 26 and this was our second attempt to stay in the lovely Chalet Hotel Le Savoie in Val after our trip was cancelled the night before in March! I really hope that Ski Total and Inghams stay open for business. They are refunding our money.

Bea Deacon: You can keep France and chalets – but Finland???     Love my snowsports (+ added benefits) holidays there).

People who have booked are being asked to select an alternative hotel/apartment rather than a chalet, defer their holiday until the 2021/22 season or apply for a refund.

“We know that those of our customers impacted will be very disappointed, and it is not a decision we have taken lightly,” said Hotelplan UK.

Hotelplan UK remains hopeful it can still deliver the remainder of the ski programme once travel restrictions are lifted.

It has been a bleak few weeks for the UK snowsports industry and this is just the latest news:

VIP goes out of business

Austria goes into second lockdown as cases continue to surge

Ski Weekender closes its alpine base for next winter

Scottish ski resort suspends its upcoming season

Interski cancels operations for this winter

Hotelplan UK has also cancelled its holidays to Finland.

“We have also made the difficult decision to suspend the rest of our Finnish programme for this winter,” it said.

“We are hugely disappointed for our customers–and we hope they will choose to join us next year when we kick off the winter with the Lapland adventures they’ve been greatly looking forward to.”

From January Hotelplan UK will review its upcoming departures on a weekly basis and will postpone taking customer balance payments until 4-weeks prior to departure date until the situation changes.