Tour Guiding Court Case in France - Lets boycott ESF !
Posted: 10 January 2013 12:09 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I for one will definitely never use ESF or for that matter any French ski instructor as a result of them bullying Le Ski into the court case regardin ski hosting.  When ever I ski in France, I will make sure if I do have any lessons I will chose a non-French outfit for the instruction.  If we all do this, ESF might get the message that they’re doing more harm than good for themselves by pursuing Le Ski or any othe ski hosting activity that takes place in French resorts.  By the way, I’m just a punter, not connected to any ski hosting or ski travel companies.  It’s a shame the French ski school have taken this stance.

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Posted: 12 January 2013 06:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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A typical French protectionist position, and just reinforces why I stopped going to France. The French don’t seem to want our custom, so vote with your feet and take your tourist Euros to friendly countries like Austria and Italy (the Swiss are lovely but the costs are high) .  Perhaps if they lost all of the British winter income they might address the appalling attitude of their workforce and embrace the concept of customer service tongue wink

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Posted: 17 March 2013 08:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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It’s not the ESF you should blame!
Have a look at my blog on the subject, in which I try to look at this issue from a different angle:

http://grangedalice.blogspot.fr/2013/03/ski-guiding-its-had-its-day.html

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Posted: 17 March 2013 05:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Araird (who is a chalet owner) doesn’t think anyone is saying “the informal or social skiing (e.g. by a chalet owner) is illegal”. That is precisely what should be said, by the French argument as he explains it, if the chalet owner does not have the requisite diploma.

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Posted: 17 March 2013 05:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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RSimpkinuk57 - 17 March 2013 05:27 PM

Araird (who is a chalet owner) doesn’t think anyone is saying “the informal or social skiing (e.g. by a chalet owner) is illegal”. That is precisely what should be said, by the French argument as he explains it, if the chalet owner does not have the requisite diploma.

That is what I am saying - the point of the judgement is that it’s illegal to be PAID to do ski guiding. Perhaps one day the issue of unpaid informal guiding will be challenged in the courts (unlikely I think) but it’s not affected according to the very succint wording of the law and the judgement. 

I am fed up with all this ESF bashing though, and I wish people would try harder to understand the real issues in the context of the problems the whole ski industry faces….

blog: http://grangedalice.blogspot.fr/

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Posted: 20 March 2013 11:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Where do you draw the line on being ‘paid’? If the chalet owner (or one of his staff) provides guiding or orientation as a service to the guests who are paying for the chalet, then surely they are getting paid for it - and this would be illegal…

Personally, I think anyone doing this should have a qualification (at the appropriate level to the service being provided), but they don’t have to be part of the ski school (ESF or otherwise). The only time I availed of such a service we were shown around the mountain by a young (but BASI qualified) British instructor working for the tour operator. The first thing he did was take us down an easy slope to judge our ability, then showed us the main routes around and some good restaurants etc. It was a great start to the trip and it would be a shame if this sort of service was not available. Of course this was Italy, not France…

I don’t want to join the ESF-bashing brigade - after all, they are highly trained and qualified - but they haven’t helped their cause by not fully explaining the case to the skiing public. By bringing a case, essentially for loss of earnings, against a British tour-op, it looks like protectionism and bully-boy tactics. Instead they should be campaigning for anyone engaged in this sort of service to hold a minimum qualification (they could even earn revenue for providing the training and certification..!), which would improve everyone’s safety and enjoyment on the mountain.

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Posted: 20 March 2013 11:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Please remember the case wasn’t ‘brought by the ESF’, they were only called as witnesses.  As far as I am aware in their evidence they never claimed any loss of income, only that is was unreasonable that unqualified people should be paid to work for which they have to be (highly) qualified, as you point out, and this is clearly what the law says. 

I agree that the ESF haven’t done themselves any favours by being associated with the judgement, not entirely their fault. Also, remember the ESF is not a centrally controlled company or corporation, it’s a highly localised network of co-operatives of (mainly) self-employed instructors. With probably as many different views about this matter as there are ski instructors (here in Les Arcs for example they’d never even heard about the court case!)

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Posted: 20 March 2013 12:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I appreciate your point, but I think it also illustrates mine. The widespread (mis?) conception of this issue is that the ESF is a big organisation that has taken issue with the tour-ops.

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Posted: 31 March 2013 05:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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The ESF have had a reputation as a protectionist organisation for years. In 1987,  the one man band ski company with which we booked in Meribel was employing two young British lads to entertain and guide guests on the mountain. Our lad, Simon, was great, hugely enthusiastic, and got us to do a lot of fun things that we would not have done on our own. One morning, Simon turned up with a black eye, having had a “talking to” from a group of ESF instructors the night before. Having been obliged to use ESF exclusively in the 1980’s, what a delight to find companies like Ski Cool and Magic in Motion in the 3V in the 1990’s. Yes to qualified ski guides, but no to lazy ESF instructors who don’t care about their clients, say I!

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Posted: 03 May 2013 11:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I appreciate the point. I’ve shared with friends..

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Posted: 05 May 2013 07:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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On my recent visit to Austria I took advantage of the Social Skiing offered by the tour op Crystal. This service was also until recently available in France.
Having taken part in this activity for three days I can offer some observations, we were told at the outset that this activity was social skiing and did not include any instruction or advise as the reps were not qualified to give any, what they were able to do was let us know what individual pistes were like and which places might be suitable for lunch etc.
As I was travelling alone it enabled me to ski in a group without the limits that would have been placed on me at ski school, and of course at no cost, that is no additional cost to the package itself.
I really do not see that this type of activity is a challenge to the ski schools or that regulation is necessary, after all we were all using the pistes that were open to all persons and all that the reps were doing was passing on their experience of the resorts for the benefit of their guests.
I think the definition SOCIAL SKIING was appropriate, it was in my opinion just that, a like minded group of people who were enjoying the mountains in each others company, irrespective of whether they were guests or reps.
If in future this activity is not available in France then it would definatley make me consider another country should I be visiting on my own.
And surely that is to the detriment of the French resorts in the long term as I am sure many others may have similar views.

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Posted: 12 March 2014 07:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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When it boils down to the position of “giving advice”, as a ski instructor myself, I would definitely not want to give unqualified tips and tricks if I was not certain about the outcome, much less if I did not have any qualifications to be doing so. I obviously have friends from all over the world who ski and they are always asking where the best slopes are. I would think that it is really a matter of people being nice - these people, if they want advice and tips so badly on skiing, then they will get the information whether or not it comes from the tour guides, the internet or the qualified schools. There will be a difference in the quality of the tip or the advice and so on, but it’s a choice that the people should make themselves on who they really trust for information.

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Posted: 16 November 2015 06:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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It’s a real shame that ESF have somewhat tarnished their reputation with their stance on ski hosting. I work for a website which lists independent ski instructors and guides and it’s increasingly worrying our professionals where the line is drawn in France: for example the instructors we have at Ongosa.com all take a personal approach to their lessons, if a client requests to be ‘hosted’ and simply steered around the resort, that is exactly what the cost of their lesson will entail. Obviously instructors are fully qualified to operate beyond these measures, but there is still a demand for it. I feel ESF are loosing sight of the fact that the ski industry is driven by ski HOLIDAYS, often people want to relax, and don’t want or need to be educated further in their sport, but appreciate local knowledge. Demand should equal supply.

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