A British ski company is shutting down after 40 years - the second in a week to fold.

Esprit Ski is being scrapped at the end of the season after 41 years of sending families to the slopes of Europe for winter breaks, with parts of the business being taken over by Inghams.

The firm is part of the Hotelplan Group that is being sold off, with the winding down announcement coming in a statement issued over the weekend. The parent company says it wants to "focus its resources and expertise into the continued success of sister brand Inghams".

"In recent years, Esprit has faced an increasing number of operational challenges," the statement read. "Conversely, Inghams has continued to thrive, thanks to its broad range of holiday options, wider choice of resorts and accommodation types, and high-quality service."

Esprit holidays booked for the current season will go ahead as planned, and those who want to book a ski holiday for this season can still do so. Those hoping to go away with the firm next year are advised to book through Inghams, which will take over some of Esprit's assets. A key selling point of Esprit - that holidays came with free childcare - will not be offered by Inghams, PlanetSKI reports.

An unknown number of employees are in line to lose their jobs as a result of the decision. Earlier this week, the supermarket giant Migros, which owns the Hotelplan Group, announced it was selling off all the group’s travel businesses.

But Joe Ponte, CEO of Hotlelplan UK, said: “The UK business has been reviewing the performance of Esprit for some time, and this channelling of resources is part of our existing strategy and ongoing commitment to invest in the long-term future success of the other brands in the group,” he says.

Although the ski company has not detailed the exact nature of the challenges it faced, a difficult season in 2022/23 due to poor snow, increased travel costs and extra barriers following Brexit have not made for a favourable environment for British travel firms.

Last week another ski company closed its doors, citing Brexit and the cost of living crisis as the reasons why.

Powder White ceased trading after more than 20 years, blaming the "immeasurable" combined impact of the "extraordinary challenges" facing UK companies in recent years. The specialist winter sport firm cited Covid, Brexit and the cost of living squeeze as obstacles it has struggled to overcome.

The London-based firm took down its website and replaced it with a statement explaining that it has stopped trading as of last Tuesday.

It reads: "Despite our very best efforts, we have regrettably been unable to navigate the extraordinary challenges our industry has faced over recent years. The immeasurable combined impact of Brexit and Covid, which has more recently been compounded by the cost of living crisis, has resulted in us not being able to fulfil our obligations and most importantly, our valued guests’ ski holidays."

Esprit Ski has been contacted for comment.

2024-02-12T12:30:56Z dg43tfdfdgfd