Thu, 06 Aug 2020 | ADMINISTRATION
One of the UK’s leading ski tour operators Harris Holidays Ltd., which trades as Ski Weekends, has gone into administration. The company has been running for over 30 years, offering tailor-made ski trips for groups and individuals from 17 UK airports to resorts, chalets and hotels across Europe.
The company was severely impacted by COVID-19, which saw ski resorts closed in mid-March, and was unable to raise enough funding to refund all customers for cancelled trips. Ski Weekends’ Managing Director Dan Fox also stated that the company had “been failed by all the government schemes.”
Fox said that the business had looked in a good position for a sale or to get financial support, but that potential backers withdrew when new Spanish quarantine regulations came into force at the end of July.
Fox added: “The UK government has been appalling in its help of the tourism sector. A few fine words, but precious little action. Most of the European countries have offered practical help, hard cash, to support their tourist industries and companies. Not so the UK government.”
Ski Weekends generally employed around 14 staff in summer at its Southampton head office, rising to around 18 during the busy winter season. The company employed 30 overseas staff and generally had around 6,000 customers each winter.
In its most recent accounts, to the year ending April 30 2019, the company’s fixed assets were valued at £233,912, with current assets valued at £334,884. Its net assets less current liabilities stood at £257,4339.
Industry observers have warned that Ski Weekends may not be the last ski business to enter administration during the coronavirus crisis. While the industry initially dodged the worst of the crisis, which only impacted the end of the season in Europe.
Many have been unable to sell holidays, while others have paid for services such as flights and accommodation from suppliers for the upcoming season. Such companies now face a situation where they may have to refund customers, but may be unable to recoup money from suppliers.
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