Ski Hosting Ban: British Company Leads Appeal
A British ski holiday company is leading an appeal against a ban on ski hosting in the French Alps.
The appeal comes after a court in Albertville in France said that the informal on-piste group tours led by ski reps are illegal.
The judge ruled that all future hosts must be fully qualified ski instructors certified by the notoriously tough French examining system.
Yorkshire-based Le Ski has joined forces with 12 other British tour operators to argue that the decision is in breach of European law.
Nick Morgan from Le Ski told Sky News: "I think that somebody somewhere has gone a little bit too far in the formation of the law and we are hoping that that is seen by the appeal court and if not is taken up by the European Court in Luxembourg."
In 2012 a ski rep was arrested on the piste and the company was then prosecuted for compromising safety.
Simon Atkinson from the French Ski School says: "Even when they say they're only there to help them round the slopes, the people who are on holiday actually do think that they're responsible for them.
"So when they go on to the slopes, they put their whole confidence in that person to take them round and they follow them."
Some British skiers on holiday in Courchevel told Sky News they are missing the social side of skiing in a group this season.
Julie Tate said: "I miss the guiding more than I thought I would, it's really important to me because I come skiing by myself and skiing with a small group of people with a guide is a really good way to get to know people on the slopes."
John Willis explained: "Rather than spend all day looking at the map and planning my route, the guide used to be there and I could follow them. I'm totally lost without them."
The next step in the legal process will be an appeal heard in a French court in Chambery.
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