ski holiday deals
Who supplies them, who guarantees them, how they're booked
The definitive guide to the suppliers and sellers of ski holidays in the UK. The ski holiday providers here are among the biggest ski travel companies in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Between them they provide
package skiing holidays and ski accommodation only sales to UK skiers and snowboarders travelling to over 300 of the world's top ski resorts.
If you've ever wondered about the difference between
ski travel agents and
ski tour operators or would like to know why some ski holidays are
ATOL protected and others are ABTA or
TTA, well we'd like to think that right here on ski-holidays.biz is the place to find out.
At the bottom of this page, you'll also find a list of ski holiday "types", where we explain how the ski industry segments we skiers and snowboarders, in order to better cater for our varying holiday wishes. Most of the UK's top winter snow and skiing holiday providers do divide customer types into
Defining ski holidays
While you or I would likely consider that a ski holiday is simply a holiday which we take in order to go skiing, in the ski industry the term is more generally used to describe what we skiers might call
package ski holidays.
The crucial difference being that the package usually includes, not merely your ski accommodation and/or meals (such as simply booking a hotel room or B&B), but also the travel arrangements to actually get there and back too - namely the
flights (from the UK to the country of your selected ski resort) and airport transfers (between the destination airport and your chosen ski resort). Adding items beyond your basic accommodation generally makes the product a "package" ski holiday.
In terms of UK regulation, a holiday created with two or more elements (e.g. transport and accommodation) that are sold to you as a package at an inclusive price are considered "package holidays".
ATOL protected v TTA insured v ABTA bonded
I'm often asked if all of these different acronyms for different types of ski booking protection were designed to confuse us - the problem is born of the fact that each of these types of travel protection are designed to protect you when buying different types of ski holiday product.
The key label to look out for with package ski holidays that include flights is that they are ATOL protected, because any package holiday sold in the UK which includes air travel (ie flights to get there) must by law be protected with an Air Travel Organisers Licence (or ATOL), which is governed by the Civil Aviation Authority (or CAA).
If you book a package ski holiday that includes a flight, then your money must be protected under the ATOL scheme. This is operated by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). If you book a package holiday that doesn't include a flight, then your money will be protected either by way of a bond held by a trade association, or by way of an insurance policy, or by placing your money into a trust account.
Overseen by the government department for Business Innovation and Skills, you should also know about "The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tour Regulations 1992", which says that package holiday operators (the principle) must provide protection for the money you pay for a booking. Those provisions are also responsible for bringing you home in the event that the holiday organiser goes out of business.
Ski holiday providers - the tour operators
The ski tour operators are the companies with whom we actually go skiing. They are known in the ski industry as the "principle" and it's down to the organisation and quality of their ski package (from flights to transfers to accommodation to food to ski reps) which determines whether we have a great ski trip or not.
While there appear to be many large ski operators in the UK, a quick look through the details of the biggest and best (which we have listed and described on this site) will soon reveal that many who infer they are different operators on their websites, are in fact all owned by the same few giant travel companies. The biggest example of these mergers and acquisitions can be seen with TUI Ski.
Who sells ski holidays?
If you're searching for the best possible ski holiday for you and your friends/family/group you'll quickly discover that the range of packages available is vast, but only if you trawl dozens of different companies, which can be tedious to say the least.
It's for exactly this reason that ski travel agentsfirst appeared. Generally speaking, they usually sell the products of several different holiday organisers, at the very same prices, yet have the added benefit of not needing to push one particular company's products at you. Ski travel agents are often cited as the most reliable way to find the best ski deals for each person's unique requirements.
In our company information pages we've tried to combine what each ski travel agent says about themselves with some objective background or contextual info that we've garnered from years in the ski world. On these pages you can read about the best known UK ski travel agents including the biggest iglu ski, the oldest ski solutions and the fastest growing sno ski. The key benefit of using a ski travel agent is that they should be able to give you independent advice when choosing a holiday, and that they should be ATOL protected.