Heidi is launched to offer flexible winter holidays
Smart technology paving the way for more to enjoy the mountains, with greater ease
· 48% of the ski and snowboard market want greater flexibility* The winter ski market has struggled to provide this
· To counter this, Heidi has exploded onto the scene and thanks to its smart technology, is finally allowing travellers to book holidays on their own terms and as easily as possible
· There are over 6,000 ski resorts across the world. Can you easily name 20? Heidi is providing a voyage of discovery to lesser-known destinations, offering low-cost, high-quality mountain holidays
· With the cost-of-living crunch Heidi will allow for shorter breaks, on any day of the week, providing travellers with the opportunity to get their ski fix for less!
· Heidi is the only company offering package holidays to as many ski resorts in the world
A new contender to the ski market has launched as Heidi – formally Ski Zoom – and is showing ski and board enthusiasts a completely fresh, flexible and innovative way to book their winter breaks this season.
Heidi, based in Bristol, UK and run by two entrepreneur brothers, Marcus Blunt, 39 and Alexander Blunt, 37 is revolutionising the market through their smart technology which allows for multiple and flexible skiing opportunities – rather than the traditional Saturday to Saturday model, or the DIY option, which can be time consuming, expensive and leave travellers stranded without connections or holiday protection.
Born out of wanting more
Marcus explains what makes Heidi a different concept amongst its counterparts. “Heidi – like many starts-ups – was born out of frustration! The frustration of not being able to book a ski trip exactly how I needed it. I wanted a quick weekend getaway but the complexities, expense and time it was taking to book a group of mates was mind boggling!
“I realised the ski industry simply didn’t offer flexibility in an easy way, despite the market crying out for it. There are big providers who do great ski holidays, but they buy mass hotel spaces and flights, so they need to make the Saturday to Saturday (or equivalent) method work, or they’re left with empty flights and rooms.
“You can get flexibility through other ski tour operators, but you have to speak to them in person and they then provide a bespoke package. Again, they’re a good choice for their distinct market but this process takes time and there is often a premium for this service. Then there is the DIY option, but again this takes time, there is no holiday protection, you need to know where you want to travel and how and it isn’t always a cheaper option, as operators get preferential agency rates.”
Alexander adds; “In today’s modern world, people want options and choices quickly, 24 hours a day and human interaction if they need it. With all this considered and with an obvious gap in the market, Heidi was born!”
Heidi offers unique smart technology
Heidi is the only company which allows for such unique search capability, across so many resorts and is the reason this popular start-up has seen massive growth figures in its first four years**. Before a rebrand earlier this year, Heidi started life as ‘Ski Zoom’ but with the very obvious success of the company and the desire to introduce summer mountain breaks, the Blunt brothers decided to move away from a name that only sang about the ski holidays. An updated ‘Heidi’ website was born and for the first-time they began to really shout about their business (having previously enjoyed their success via word of mouth and PPC).
Heidi’s unique concept now sits in the middle of what is currently offered. It allows users to search from thousands of options, in destinations people might not have thought of, including Spain and Slovenia, as well as all the classic popular resorts. Users are also able to select a diverse range of preferences they’re looking for from ‘beginner to high altitude’ and from ‘family to short transfer’ and from ‘budget to luxury’. And, one of the biggest hits, has been to enable customers to choose the duration of their trip and the day they travel. Of course, seven days is still a popular option, but the ability to book short breaks, or save money by not travelling on a Saturday, has torn up the rule book. Simply put, the technology behind Heidi does all the work and pops out with multiple bookable options. So you have all the flexibility, and none of the hassle.
A modern approach to a changing world
Heidi offers a modern approach to winter holidays taking into account how the world is changing. The current cost-of-living crisis is creating global ramifications, with many people still wanting their ‘ski fix’ but are now demanding better value for money and increased options. Alexander illustrates how Heidi could help with a family package: “Many parents enjoy taking their children away for a ski holiday during the February half term but, as we all know, the costs ramp up. If you choose to fly on a Monday, for example, and head back home on a Friday then most flights are less expensive, as they’re not typical ‘changeover’ days. A family of four could save over £2000. Our technology will also suggest lesser-known resorts which might not carry such a hefty price tag, but just as brilliant an experience.
“Skiing has traditionally been seen as quite an elitist pastime but with so many options and resorts to choose from, we believe that many more can enjoy skiing, boarding, or just the fresh air and snow-capped beauty of the mountains.”
Responsibility to its customers
So, who is responsible for the holiday, in case of cancelled flights, transfers and hotels? Alexander concludes: “All our travellers are financially protected under the ATOL Scheme and the buck stops with us when customers book. Booking through our site offers complete peace of mind, so changed / cancelled flights get rearranged through Heidi and our hotels show the average customer review before you buy. We have also worked diligently to get the right transfer agents in place to meet our customers’ needs, so we know our travellers are looked after every step of the way. Whilst we rely on the powers of sophisticated technology to work through all the back end booking, we also create a human interface, all of which has led to us achieving 4.9 out of 5 on Trustpilot with nearly 500 reviews. As a company we’re incredibly proud of this and will keep striving to facilitate the very best mountain breaks we can.”