The origins of Snowslippers dates back to the early 1980s; it was a name given to a British Forces families' ski club based in Germany. Beti Wyn, one of our directors, ran this ski club for 10 years before moving back to the UK in 1993. The creation of Snowslippers 'the company', however, dates back to this move when a head teacher, who was aware of the background of one of his supply teachers, asked her to organise their annual ski holiday.
The varied background of the directors ensures that Snowslippers provides a service that is safe, supportive, educational and fun. The directors have extensive experience in teaching, youth work, mountaineering and professional skiing.
The Snowslippers Philosophy
- To give young people the opportunity to experience a different environment and culture to their own.
- To provide a safe and fun learning environment to ensure lasting, happy memories.
- To make your position as party organiser as stress-free as possible.
Snowslippers, a specialist ski holiday operator is celebrating its 20th anniversary during the 2013-14 winter ski season.
And they have two great reasons to celebrate. At a time when the schools' holiday market has declined by 13% over the last three years, Snowslippers has gone from strength to strength with the 2012-2013 season being their best ever. In order to further improve the service, an ATOL licence has recently been acquired, meaning groups can purchase ski packages with flights included in addition to their already International Passenger Protected (IPP) coach trips. To further demonstrate their commitment to high standards, they have achieved full membership of ABTA which sets thorough regulations for customer service and an exceptional code of conduct.
The company, founded during the 1993-94 ski season by two retired school teachers, has been specialising in group holidays ever since. With an unrivalled reputation for a personalised service, high quality instruction, combined with excellent value for money, Snowslippers has gained the reputation of a company who really care for their guests and has the knowledge and experience to deliver ski trips that are truly special.
Over the last 3 years, school holiday statistics are down from just over 100,000 in 2009-10 to just over 83,000 in 2012-13 mainly due to the economic climate and increased competition. But in the face of this adversity and due to a very loyal customer base providing a 95% return booking rate, Snowslippers continues to grow slowly and steadily, ensuring the superior customer service they are renowned for is never compromised.
So in this ever increasing competitive market, what is the secret of the Snowslippers success story?
Director, Dan Jurkovic, a UK based Croatian national ski team technical coach and ex-president of the Croatian Ski Instructors Association Teaching Committee, explains why guests keep coming back to Snowslippers:
Snowslippers differs from the larger tour operators in that we offer a personal, hands-on approach. Our groups have been returning to us year after year because of the superb organisation, quality service and outstanding care they receive. Our service is totally unique. Snowslippers directors are present in resort, which means our guests can speak to us every day. Many of our reps and ski instructors have grown up with Snowslippers. They have come on ski trips with their schools so they know our service and culture and they have fantastic knowledge of the ski area.
The credentials and experience of the Snowslippers directors covers all the important aspects of ski trips. In addition to teaching, the founding directors, Beti Wyn and David Williams, have decades of experience in school residential care and adventure leadership for young people. Dan Jurkovic has over 20 years experience as a ski trainer/examiner and he continues to be the head coach for the Croatian National Ski Demo Team. The Snowslippers reps are all qualified ski & snowboard instructors. All of them have completed a worldwide recognised ski instructor training program. In addition, Dan provides continuous training for instructors, improving their teaching and leadership skills that guarantee superb resort representation for Snowslippers. This ensures consistently high levels of customer service, care and ski instruction.
We have a fabulous reputation from our returning guests, but we would like more schools to know about the service we provide. We would like to encourage new groups to experience a Snowslippers ski trip for themselves. Our priority after 20 great years remains to continuously improve and consistently organise and deliver unforgettable ski trips of the highest quality.
Snowslippers have always been based in the picturesque Austrian village of Alpendorf. It is situated in the Salzburg province and linked with the Amadé ski region, the second largest in Europe. Since 2011, Snowslippers also operates in Kronplatz resort, located in the stunning Italian Dolomites. In both of these resorts, beginners are well looked after with plenty of options for progressing from nursery slopes to easy blue runs, whilst more advanced skiers can take advantage of the huge choice of ski runs available. Safety is of paramount importance and risk assessments are provided for all activities. In order to achieve the best possible safety netting, Snowslippers have developed their own Mountain Safety Procedures (MSP) specifically for both these areas, which are constantly scrutinised and improved. All of the Snowslippers youngsters are supplied with Snowslippers wristbands with emergency contact numbers printed on them.
Accommodation options vary from larger traditional family run guesthouses to smaller guesthouses, depending on preference and group size. Evening activities available include: bowling, swimming in the Alpentherme Spa in Gastein, sledging, shopping, disco, karaoke and cultural trips to Salzburg.
David began his teaching career in 1981 after leaving the forces where he was a member of the RAF Mountain Rescue Service.
Whilst teaching at a British Forces school in Germany, he regularly organised school mountaineering expeditions to various regions in the Alps, including Mont Blanc.
His experience with the RAF Mountain Rescue Service and working with youngsters on outdoor adventure activities ensures he is fully aware of the responsibilities involved in organising and running a school ski trip.
An ex-international hockey player, Beti-Wyn has almost 40 years' teaching experience, specialising in P.E.
The time Beti has spent teaching in secondary schools has provided her with a comprehensive understanding of managing and ensuring the welfare of students in outdoor, physical environments.
Dan has been a ski instructor since 1986. Before joining Snowslippers he was a trainer for the Croatian Olympic Academy and the Croatian Ski Instructors & Trainers Association.
Author of numerous publications including the book "Skiing - The Technique, Methodology and Training" published by Graphis.
Dan's knowledge and experience is focused on managing the teaching programme for Snowslippers' guests within the Red White Red Ski School.