Whiteout Ski offer carefully tailored snowsports holidays that meet your exact needs. With its new initiative, 100HourHolidays, the company is looking to refocus in order to accommodate holidaymakers that are increasingly interested in summer activity breaks.
What is Whiteout Ski?
Whiteout Ski is a next-generation snowsports holiday provider that aims to make the process of booking a ski holiday as efficient as possible. Rather than the outdated online process currently available to consumers, we provide a bespoke concierge service at an affordable price. We take bookings over Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, where we ask our clients four simple questions: when, where, how many and what are you after? From there, we come back with three package options which we feel best suit their needs. After paying the deposits, they’re off! It really is as simple as: “10th of Feb, Val d’Isere, eight people, catered with a hot tub!”.
We’re now moving onto our next initiative, which is called 100HourHolidays. We’re finding that the fastest growing sector in holidaying is activity holidays, while younger people are tending to prefer lots of shorter holidays across the year. Put the two together and you have a long-weekend activity holiday, which is where 100HourHolidays comes in. We're going to be offering surfing in Morocco, biking in Mallorca and climbing in the Lake District. The beauty of this product is that you’ll be able to leave your desk on a Thursday evening and return in time for a Monday morning start, having hot air ballooned in Turkey during the meantime! We believe this is the future of holidaying!
Where are you based?
How did you come about forming Whiteout Ski?
We ran our own Glasgow university ski trip for a group of 40 mates in December 2017. From this, we learned three things:
- The ski market is stuck in the stone age. It’s extremely hard to navigate and we think this puts a lot of people off, particularly millennials.
- The current providers of budget ski holidays are making huge amounts of money by charging fat margins. We were able to provide flights, transfers, catered chalet accommodation with a hot tub and pool, plus wine with dinner all for less than 10% more than the total cost of the university trip.
- There is a gap in the market for a ski holiday provider aimed at the graduate market. At the bottom you have NUCO and Wasteland for students, while at the top you have Scott Dunn, Tui and Ski Total for families, but in the middle you only have... Whiteout!
Why did you choose to apply for a loan with Virgin StartUp?
We needed some capital to front deposit payments for some of our larger trips. We also needed to fund some regulatory costs. The beauty of this industry is that you receive your revenue before the costs of sale leave your bank account.
Why did you take the size of loan that you did?
We sat down and drew up a detailed cashflow forecase with the help of Virgin StartUp, and worked out where we would be short of cash and by how much. It was then pretty easy to add a small margin for error and work out how much we needed!
What will you spend it on?
Regulatory expenditure and marketing budgets.
How did you get to this point?
A lot of hard graft and late nights. As we’ve both graduated this summer, we’ve pretty much been working flat out since incorporating in July. We’ve come up against a lot of barriers, but we’re slowly learning that there really is a solution to everything – there’s always an answer, we just haven’t found it yet! The majority of our growth has been through organic recommendations, such as friends telling friends. We’ve put a lot of hours into our website and social networks, which is how we get most of our sales, although online marketing has been a steep learning curve.
How do you see the startup culture and funding landscape in Scotland?
Really excellent. We’re just working out where we’re going to locate permanently and Scotland has so many grants and opportunities to offer. We have just graduated from the University of Glasgow, which was given us access to alumni funds. We’re still finding our feet, but in the new year we’ll start looking for office space.
What's the focus for Whiteout Ski now?
We’re still taking bookings for our winter holidays, but our focus is slowly shifting to our summer angle. Whiteout Ski will sit below the 100HourHolidays umbrella brand in the future, which will offer watersports, hiking, cycling, climbing, sailing, cooking and almost any other kind of summer activity holiday you can think of. If anyone has been on their own long-weekend activity break, we’d love to hear about it!
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