Out of the Ashes: The British women finding a ski-holiday silver lining between Brexit and Covid

  • Phoenix phenomenon in the British ski industry as company rises out of the ashes of Brexit and Covid.
  • As the local tourism industry collapses, two British women reinvent the classic package ski holiday.
  • Booking is open for the 21-22 season, with pent-up demand driving high numbers right out of the gate.
  • With 29 years between them in the French Alps, founders Nikki White and Lauren Spring are local specialists of Tignes and Val d’Isère, popular resorts for British skiers and snowboarders.
  • Insider knowledge is key for the pair, who provide bespoke deals for British holidaymakers through their extensive network of local contacts.
  • Peak Feeling packages are cheaper than the old model yet with the same level of service.
  • Selling direct to the British market but as a French Travel Agent, Peak Feeling are giving tourists security that some British tour operators are finding challenging in the new climate.

“Have you ever gone through something so mentally and physically tough that you didn’t know how you could possibly recover? Only to find that weeks, months or years later, you can look back on how far you’ve come and feel a sense of pride from the positives that came out of the ordeal”? Coined by psychologist Shilagh Mirgain, Ph. D., Phoenix Phenomenon is a process that ‘refers to the benefits and personal transformation that comes from working through a crisis or challenging time.’ And that’s exactly what happened when Peak Feeling Ski founders Nikki and Lauren decided to change their luck.

Watching as the ‘perfect storm’ of COVID-19 and Brexit ripped through their home resort of Tignes, two women (Lauren Spring and Nikki White) saw the ski industry they had been part of for decades come to a halt. Tour operators no longer had rights; British tourists couldn’t travel due to border restrictions; bars and restaurants in the area were forced to close; and the usual atmosphere of the winter resort was reduced to a ‘no man’s land’.

The challenges facing the travel industry this year has left skiers and snowboarders demanding an increasingly more flexible approach to booking holidays, but still wanting the value and security that booking with a bonded agent offers. Enter: Peak Feeling Ski.

Lauren, who had run a hotel during the previous 5 winters for a popular tour operator, played on the idea of future proofing ski holidays for British skiers. What if, she said, holidaymakers could use the same hassle free all-inclusive service traditionally offered by tour operators, but with a tailor-made package for each client?

So, faced without job security, and the way of life that Nikki and Lauren were accustomed to in the mountains, Peak Feeling Ski was born ‘out of the ashes’. Offering a free service to anyone booking a ski holiday, the women use their contacts on the ground to find the best deals for every element of the traditional package holiday. As well as a large snow-sure ski area, resorts Val d’Isère and Tignes also have a wide choice of activities for non-skiers.

Co-Founder, Lauren Spring, said: “The UK ski holiday market’s typical formula has worked seamlessly for generations, owing to the UK being part of the European Union, with a handful of tour operators using seasonal staff to execute package deals, they would include anything and everything from flights, accommodation, transfers, childcare, ski lessons, rental equipment and more. However, with challenges to run British businesses in France post Brexit, plus Covid complications to navigate, 2021 has already seen companies struggle. Some operators went into administration, and it is expected that more will follow. Peak Feeling has turned that model on its head and re-launched a ski holiday company fit for 2021 and beyond”.

Co-founder Nikki White, said: “Our combined years of experience working in Tignes and Val d’Isère means we have extensive resort knowledge to plan customers’ trips. We will organise anything from accommodation, lift passes and ski hire ready upon arrival, a transfer to resort, ski lessons and instructors that fit guests needs, childcare for little ones, massages and spa treatments, fun activities including husky sledding, reservations in the best places to eat both on and off the slopes all the way through to a Savoyard welcome hamper”.

Peak Feeling Ski travel agency has launched and they are looking forward to a promising 2021-22 winter season as pent-up demand is already driving swathes of early bookings.

Example packages:

Chalet Charlane, Tignes – 7 bedroom chalet, sleeps 18: From, £650 per person (based on sole occupancy x 18 people), including 7 nights half-board accommodation, dinner with wine, afternoon tea, return airport transfers, ski pass.

Fleche D’Argent 4 bedroom apartment, Tignes: From £755 per person (based on 9 sharing), including 7 nights self-catering accommodation, return airport transfers, ski pass.

Apartment Kilimanjaro 5 bedroom apartment Val d’Isère: From £750 per person (based on 10 sharing), including 7 nights accommodation, Private chef providing half board including afternoon tea and wine with dinner, return airport transfers, ski pass.

Booking: peakfeeling-ski.com, +33 7 81 75 79 15, [email protected]

About Peak Feeling

Peak Feeling Ski is French bonded travel agency founded by British born ski industry professionals, Lauren Spring and Nikki White.

With extensive experience working in hospitality in ski resorts stretching back over 20 years, both Lauren and Nikki call Tignes and Val d’Isère their home. Peak Feeling Ski can introduce skiers and snowboarders to the perfect version of their holiday, with top picks based on insider knowledge of all that’s available, both on and off the slopes to ensure an ideal ski experience where all needs are taken care of.

ATOUT FRANCE: Registered travel agent. Number IM073200010
Financial Guarantee Insurance with APST (French ABTA equivalent)

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