Inghams was founded by Walter Ingham in 1934 and celebrates its 85th year in 2019. Inghams is one of the UK's leading specialist tour operators. Inghams is part of Swiss travel organisation Hotelplan, which is in turn part of the Migros organisation, the largest grocery wholesaler and retailer in Switzerland.
With over 85 years of operating Ski and Lakes & Mountains holidays, it’s no surprise Inghams is expert at delivering award winning holidays to its loyal guests. The foundation of our success is the deep and long-lasting relationships with our partner hoteliers and other suppliers. These enduring partnerships and friendships are fundamental in creating the best holidays and value for our customers.
The Inghams team prides itself on providing expert and friendly service for our customers at every step of their holiday, from our knowledgeable Reservations team who will help guests by offering expert advice and suggestions before they book through to our award winning in resort Rep service. Guests can be assured of only the highest levels of quality, service and peace of mind when they travel with Inghams.
From Walter Ingham to today
Inghams was born out of Walter Ingham's enduring passion for ski, ski mountaineering and walking. Ingham has long been credited as the man who took Britain skiing!
In 1963 Inghams Travel was acquired by Hotelplan, one of Switzerland’s leading holiday companies. Hotelplan was founded in 1935, as an emergency aid for the ailing Swiss hotel industry by Gottlieb Duttweiler, who had already led the Migros Co-operative to success. Today the Hotelplan Group caters for over 3 million guests, generating a turnover in excess of £800 million.
In Switzerland, Migros has over 500 retail food stores, market stores and shopping markets supplied by its own modern production plants. It operates its own banking and insurance organisations, Migros Club Schools and Eurocentre Language Schools, as well as promoting a wide range of social and cultural activities. The Migros Group of Cooperatives employs more than 95,000 people with a turnover of more than £18 billion.
Innovation and dedication strengthened Inghams position in its main markets with offices in Austria, Italy, France, Switzerland, Andorra and Canada. In 1995, Inghams acquired The Bladon Group, incorporating Bladon Lines, Ski West and Just France. And more recently, in 2008, Inghams purchased the award-winning walking holiday specialist, Inntravel, who are the UK's leading provider of self-guided walking and cycling holidays throughout the unspoiled corners of Europe and beyond.
In 2015, the Hotelplan UK Group acquired Explore Worldwide from their parent company Holidaybreak Group.
History Time line
- Christmas 1934 – Walter Ingham advertises in national newspapers for a private ski party to join him on a trip to Austria over the Christmas period. He promotes the holiday in the Personal Column of The Times. 14 days for 12 guineas – ‘Private Party to Ski the Tyrol’. Read more about Walter Ingham here.
- 1935 - Summer ‘Rucksack’ holidays organized by Walter Ingham to the Oetzal mountains with ‘hut to hut’ mountaineering holidays.
- 1936 – Walter Ingham rents one-room office in Arcade House, Bond Street to sell holidays. Walter’s father joins him and they create F&W Ingham.
- 1936 - Extends holiday offering to French Alps and French seaside resorts and coach tours.
- 1936 – Inghams holidays are advertised in the Daily Telegraph for 17 guineas for 16 days.
- March 1938 – Terminates holidays to Austria when it becomes annexed by Germany.
- 1939 – World War II breaks out and Walter Ingham joins the army
- Christmas 1948 – Launches first post-war ski-party to the Dortmund Chalet of the Austrian Alpine Club in the Tyrol
- 1950 - First snow trains to the Alps and introduced dancing cars in which customers would party the night away as they rattled across the continent
- 1957 - Inghams starts Lakes and Mountains programme
- 1963 – Walter Ingham sells Inghams to Hotelplan
- 1970– Formation of Hotelplan UK
- 1984 – Inghams celebrates 50th anniversary
- 1985 – Inghams enters Irish market with an office in Dublin
- 1995 - Inghams purchases up market ski chalet operator Bladon Lines
- 1995 – Inghams launches ‘Early bird’ holiday brochure for the 1995/6 ski season and sparks “early bird” booking ski holiday trend
- 1999 – Inghams is the first UK ski company to take bookings online
- 2007 – Inghams acquires Eurobreak and rebrands as Inghams Short Breaks
- 2008 – Hotelplan purchases Inntravel
- 2008 - Inghams launches new Inghams Villas offering in 9 countries
- 2009 – Inghams celebrated its 75th anniversary
- 2010 – Expansion of Hotelplan UK through acquisition of the Enigma Travel Group, comprising Esprit Holidays Ski Total & Santa’s Lapland
- 2012 – Hotelplan UK relocates to Godalming, bringing all its brands under one roof
- 2013 – Hotelplan UK launches two new Products: Esprit Sun and Inghams Italy
- 2014 - Inghams celebrated its 80th anniversary
- 2015 - Further expansion of the Hotelplan UK Group, through the acquisition of Explore Worldwide
- 2016 - Inghams win Travel Weekly Globe award for "Best Activity and Adventure Operator", as voted for by UK travel agents
- 2016 – Hotelplan UK launches another new Product: Total Cycling
- 2017 - Inghams once again wins the Travel Weekly Globe award for "Best Activity and Adventure Operator", as voted for by UK travel agents for the second year running
- 2019 – Inghams celebrates its 85th anniversary