The owner of Sk iWeekends, Ski Elements Ltd, has purchased the FlexiSki brand from Hotelplan UK for an undisclosed amount. Hotelplan had bought Flexiski from Travelopia, the group created when TUi shed a number of its non core brands, as recently as 2019.
It has been a turbulent two years for tour operators of all kinds, but ski businesses have been hit particularly hard. We find it encouraging that there is interest in well known brands such as FlexiSki as Winter 2021/22 fast approaches.
Ski Elements managing director Dan Fox commented: “We are thrilled to add Flexiski alongside our Ski Weekends programme for this winter and delighted to have recruited staff with previous Flexiski experience to our team, helping us ensure we continue to deliver the same experience that both flexiski and Ski Weekends customers are used to.”
Dan adds that by acquiring FlexiSki so close to the start of the season they will be “focusing on delivering a smaller, but great quality product for this coming winter and looking for strong regrowth in the future, with addition of a wider variety of experiential mountain breaks.”
Tour operators of all kinds are report strong demand and bookings for this season and, whilst travel is not as straightforward as in the pre-COVID era, skiers will be desperate to get their fix of mountain air!
Hotelplan, meanwhile, is clearly concentrating its resources on the group’s largest ski brand, Inghams. Chalet operator Ski Total has in essence become a sub brand of Inghams (older readers may remember the same happening with Bladon Lines many years ago …) and family specialist Ski Esprit has significantly reduced property numbers.
It will be an interesting season for the ski sector and we wouldn’t rule out more consolidation in Spring 2022. There are likely to be a lot of small operators hoping for a solid season to then find security as part of a larger business, or with a cash injection from a new owner.
In the meantime we’re welcoming the colder weather and keeping everything crossed for a cracking season.