Ski hosting court case postponed again

14th May 2014, by Abi Butcher

Le Ski is appealing a ban on ski hosting

Le Ski is appealing a ban on ski hosting

The court case against Le Ski for illegal ski hosting was postponed again at a court hearing in Chambéry today (Wednesday).

In February last year Nick Morgan, co-founder of the tour operator Le Ski was found guilty of using staff to guide clients around French resorts — known as “ski hosting”.

The court in Albertville ruled that under French law it is illegal for someone to be paid to lead or guide groups around the mountain unless they are a fully qualified ski instructor or guide.

The appeal — which is being seen as a test case for British tour operators — was due to be heard today in Chambéry. Mr Morgan’s company Le Ski has the backing of a number of different British tour operators: Alpine Elements, Crystal Ski, Inghams, Mark Warner, Neilson, Ski Esprit, Ski Olympic, Ski Total, Skiworld, Thomson.

But Le Ski submitted a detailed written defence showing that the applicable section of French law is unjustifiable under EU law. The ESF (an ‘injured party’ claiming damages and giving evidence in the case) requested more time to consider the legal arguments and because of the serious implications of the case Le Ski agreed to a postponement. The new date set for the hearing is 2 July. Mr Morgan told WTSS today: “The new date is good news because it is still well before the start of the next ski season”.

Last year he told us: “In our view, the Albertville ruling is protectionist and contrary to European Union law. We are frustrated that our guests, who have enjoyed free ski hosting for 30 years, are temporarily unable to benefit from this very popular service.”

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