Educational Tours

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Meet The Team

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Halsbury Ski is run by a dedicated team of school ski travel specialists, who have over 80 years’ experience in crafting tailor-made school ski trips and know the resorts we offer well. They are also a team of linguists, speaking five languages between them, which allows them to liaise closely and effectively with local suppliers to ensure that trips are hassle-free for group leaders.

Simon Thomas

Head of Halsbury Ski

The head of our ski department and an all-round ski guru, Simon is truly passionate about skiing, which he first learnt during his time in the armed forces, where he travelled extensively. Simon has been to nearly all of the resorts that we feature and has over 10 years’ experience in this role at Halsbury Travel, as well as a further 3 years in general school travel. This wealth of experience has helped him and his team develop Halsbury’s thorough ski programme.

“Apart from skiing, I love mountain biking, hiking and all forms of après-ski. I firmly believe that you can have almost as much fun off the slopes as on them and this is something that we keep in mind when arranging extra activities for our ski groups.”

James Babb

Ski Specialist

James developed a passion for skiing on his own school trip to Bulgaria. Having grown into a fully-fledged ski addict through school, he later moved to Val d’Isère and Meribel for two years before returning to the UK and embarking on a career in the school skiing industry. James has skied in over 50 resorts across France, Spain, Italy, Austria, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Andorra and the USA, so if you ever need any advice on where to go, he is definitely the man to ask! Just let him know what you’re looking for and he’ll find the right resort for your school.

“My passion for skiing was ignited by a school ski trip and I love the fact that I now help future generations to enjoy such incredible experiences!”

Paul Sutton

Ski Specialist

Paul is happiest on a snowy mountain and his favourite travel memory is of the day he arrived at the resort where he was to spend a ski season as a chalet host/chef – watching the place transform into a winter wonderland overnight is something that he will never forget. Paul’s role sees him liaising with schools to advise them and help launch their trip. His years of experience within the school ski industry and as a former Educational Visits Coordinator mean he is well-placed to to advise our groups.

“Working in this industry allows me to talk about snowsports on a daily basis and I am also passionate about providing ways for students to enrich and expand their learning experience.”

Beth Hall

Ski Specialist

A skier since childhood, Beth has visited many of the world’s top resorts, from the Alps to New Zealand. One of her favourite resorts is Prato Nevoso, which she has visited several times. Beth cites the friendly atmosphere and sheer variety as two of the reasons why she keeps heading back to the Italian resort. Beth’s role involves meeting Group Leaders at their school to discuss their next ski trip, and deliver presentations and parents’ evenings. Beth has worked in group travel since 2001 and she thrives on the opportunity to work with schools to provide young people with experiences that will stay with them forever.

“My first ski experience was with my family in Chamonix. I remember it being truly terrifying, yet exhilarating. I continued to learn in New Zealand at the weekends on my ‘gap year’. There is something quite special about the mountains that left me wanting more.”

Claire Mills

Ski Specialist

Claire has over 15 years’ experience working in educational travel and has, for the last 7 years, specialised in school ski travel. As one of our Ski Specialists, Claire works closely with teachers as they begin to plan their school ski trip. Using her expert knowledge and experience, Claire provides key support and advice to ensure that the trip is the perfect fit for each group. Claire thrives on helping teachers to provide young people with the opportunity to learn to ski, make new friends and visit some incredible destinations.

“Serre-Chevalier will always have a special place in my heart, as it was where I learnt to ski. I will always remember how breathtaking the woodland runs are. I love the feeling of standing on top of a mountain looking down, surrounded by beautiful scenery.“

Giulia Decimi

Ski Operations Manager

Giulia grew up with the snowy peaks of the Dolomites a fixture of her morning walks to school and still associates the mountains with happy family holidays. She is always keen to take any opportunity to travel to the slopes, especially if it involves accompanying groups, as she loves being out in the field, seeing the fruits of our ski team’s labours. Having started out as a ski rep for Halsbury, Giulia’s time with us has seen her take on a number of roles within the company. As Ski Operations Manager, she is responsible for coordinating all the team members within the operations department and ensuring that communication flows smoothly between them. Giulia is also on call whilst our groups are away to help provide assistance with any problems or questions that may arise.

“I fell in love with the idea of building memories for future generations, making them aware of the cultural differences between countries and the importance of the environment that surrounds us, so I started out as a ski rep and now, here I am!”

John Pinca

Hotel Contractor

Based in Italy all year round, John is responsible for maintaining good relations with our hoteliers and ensuring that guests’ needs are met and even exceeded. Having dedicated the last 20 years of his life to school ski travel, John uses his vast experience to source new products for us and to ensure that we are able to provide our customers with competitive prices. John is half-Italian and speaks both Italian and French fluently, which means that he has been able to enjoy the very best of British and European culture. John first learnt to ski over two decades ago, in the tiny Italian resort of Monte Pora. He loves the freedom of being outdoors that skiing brings and thrives on the mountainous scenery and clean, fresh air.

“What do I enjoy most about working in school ski travel? Seeing the enjoyment from the kids, especially those that have never seen a mountain, let alone know what snow is really all about.”

Audrey Algrain

Ski Trip Coordinator

Audrey moved to England from her native Paris over 10 years ago and speaks three languages fluently. Having worked as a French teacher in a local sixth form college, Audrey worked as a group leader for us during school holidays, before joining us full-time in 2009. For her, the school travel industry is incredibly rewarding and she has seen first-hand what a great experience school trips are for students! As one of our Ski Trip Coordinators, Audrey will take on all the administrative tasks involved in organising your trip; from booking your hotel and transport to arranging your après-ski activities.

“It’s really rewarding working in the school travel industry, making sure that groups have a great time on their trips. It’s such a fantastic experience for children!”

Celimen Helshani

Ski Trip Coordinator

Another linguist, Celimen hails from beautiful Provence, in southern France, and speaks three languages fluently. Joining us in 2006, Celimen has visited many of the ski resorts which we work with and knows our local suppliers well. Once you have chosen your destination, Celimen will use all her knowledge and experience to make all the necessary arrangements to ensure that your school ski tour runs smoothly.

“I have always loved travelling and always organised my own itineraries. Then, one day, I realised that I could make this passion my career and I have never looked back!”

Giulia Piras

Ski Trip Coordinator

Our resident Italian, Giulia was born far from the Alps on the beautiful island of Sardinia, but this has only helped to foster her love of the mountains. Passionate about travel, Giulia works closely with teachers planning ski trips to Italy, to ensure that all the details of their trip work for them. As a native Italian speaker, Giulia is well placed to liaise with local suppliers in Italy and makes the arrangements for everything from ski lessons to après-ski activities.

“I love the fact that my work allows children to enjoy experiencing travel and wintersports. I enjoy working closely with teachers to ensure that their trip is the experience they want for their students.“

Sam Axon

Ski Trip Coordinator

Our resident German speaker, Sam is a former teacher with a passionate belief in the value of school travel. Sam ensures that the itineraries for school ski trips to Austria and Switzerland are planned to a very high quality. As a former teacher, Sam understands the pressures placed on teachers planning school trips and uses his own experience to help ensure that planning a trip with Halsbury Ski is hassle-free.

“What I most enjoy about working in school ski travel is that no one day is ever the same. The highlight is undoubtedly hearing from group leaders that their students have thoroughly enjoyed their trip.“