Hotelplan UK withdraws family ski brand Esprit after 41 years

Hotelplan UK family ski brand Esprit Ski is being withdrawn at the end of this winter after 41 years.

The decision by the Inghams owner is unrelated to Swiss parent company Migros planning to seek new owners for the Hotelplan Group.

The company said: “The decision to retire the brand after this season allows the group 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. 

“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.”

The majority of the Esprit team at Hotelplan UK also work across sister brands Inghams and Santa’s Lapland. 

However, the number of overseas seasonal roles needed next winter will reduce, and an unspecified “small number” of permanent positions within the teams responsible for the in-resort delivery of Esprit are impacted. 

“Those team members have been notified, and the company is consulting with them on the proposed changes,” Hotelplan UK said.

Chief executive Joe Ponte added: “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.”

Esprit holidays booked for the current season will go ahead as planned.

Many of Esprit’s chalets and hotels are available to book through Inghams next winter but without Esprit childcare options. 

Esprit and Inghams ski managing director John Mansell said: “It is incredibly hard to say goodbye to Esprit, but focusing our efforts so Inghams continues to thrive across its ski, Lapland and walking programmes is the right decision. 

“Esprit has had a fantastic 41 years and we are so proud of all the families and children we have introduced to skiing. 

“Esprit will always have a place in our hearts, and we would like to thank all our team for their hard work and passion over the years. 

“We hope our customers, travel agents and partners will join us in celebrating this final season and the legacy that Esprit has created.”

Ian Hope, managing director of family winter sports operator Ski Famille, said: “I’ve been familiar with Esprit for over 20 years, and it’s such a shame that another quality brand is ceasing trading after this winter. 

“The industry has been shaken, but when you provide families with a fantastic service in great chalets and chalet hotels, the demand will continue to grow even more.”

He added: ”Any families that are now looking for an alternative ski holiday for the 2024-25 season, we have some fantastic options, so do get in contact.”

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