Ski operator expertise drafted into travel consultancy

The ex-boss of a ski operator has joined a consultancy established in the summer to help rebuild travel companies impacted by Covid-19.

Chris Thompson, former managing director of Ski Famille, has teamed up with former Tui director Ian Finlay and venture capitalist Stewart Lambert.

The Firebird Partnership has advised on two management buy-outs since being created in June and is acting for several owners on the sale of their businesses.

The addition of Thompson brings winter sports expertise to the consultancy’s offering.

He is also keen to work with smaller businesses, believing these often have the greatest potential for innovation and growth.

Bolstering the team also allows Firebird to strengthen its offering for UK-focused travel and leisure operators.

Thompson’s career includes numerous high-level roles. He invested in Ski Famillie in 2004, which he subsequently grew into a well-recognised winter sports specialist before exiting in 2013.

Finlay and Lambert have more than five decades of travel indistry experience between them and created the consultancy in an effort to help develop travel and leisure businesses impacted by the pandemic, as well as offering pathways to exit.

Firebird claimed “exceptionally high” demand for its services in the four months since launch.

Finlay, who ran Tui Travel’s ediucation division, said: “Since launching in June we’ve seen a lot of demand for our services and are now working with a number of fantastic travel businesses.

“We are delighted to have Chris join Firebird. His depth and breadth of knowledge, particularly in the winter sports sector, makes him a highly valuable addition to our team.”

Thompson added “For all the current challenges, there is still enormous potential in the travel industry.

“I am looking forward to working with Ian and Stewart to help firms navigate today’s difficulties whilst creating a solid platform for future growth.”

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