Directski.com was established in 2000 at the hand of our CEO, a brave young skier turned Internet pioneer by the name of Anthony Collins.
Anthony’s love for skiing began at a young age. Skiing was always a passion of the Collins clan and, when not enhancing their slope skills of a rainy evening at the Ski Club of Ireland, Anthony, and his younger brother Neal, could be found slope-hopping their way from one European resort to the next, enjoying Tyrolean hospitality, a duty-free après ski beer in Andorra or the beautiful shiny pistes of France... But something didn’t feel quite right. The Collins boys didn’t feel entirely fulfilled. They dreamt that one day, ski holidays would become affordable for all!
Anthony’s burning passion for ski along with his deep understanding of the travel industry and entrepreneurial spirit was bestowed upon him by his father, Tony - who’s in the business of selling holidays himself. A modest knight from the quaint Dublin suburb of Cabra, Tony instilled a certain je ne sais quoi in Anthony, giving him the wisdom he needed to achieve his dream of making ski holidays affordable for all, and the very first brick in the road to Directski.com’s awesomeness had been laid down.
In early 2000, Anthony set out to put his and Neal’s expertise to use, along with that of Anthony’s childhood friend and super-geek Dermot, to create the coolest, most trendiest, most advanced ski holiday website of all time, in the universe, ever. A website that gave people the power to control their own ski destinies. Directski.com was born, giving the people what they needed; an easy-to-use website that allowed them to book the best ski packages at the lowest prices. Flights, high quality accommodation and ski equipment could now be booked online with a simple click of their shiny new millennium mouse. This was a revelation for skiers everywhere.
For the following fifteen years, the company would see much acclaim for its technical innovations and business successes. It would stir controversy for its sometimes questionable, yet creative marketing efforts. It would be appreciated for its signature sense of humour. It would have its ups and downs but, most of all, it would always strive to serve its purpose of making ski holidays affordable for all.
Before Directski.com, it was impossible to book a ski holiday online. Anthony’s first mission was to convince savvy Irish skiers to put down their ski holiday brochures and pick up a mouse (this was in a world before Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and all those other internet favourites). Booking online wasn’t hard, as the fledgling company’s first major advertising campaign pointed out.
Great value ski holidays and a splash of Celtic Tiger euphoria saw the Paddys (and Patricias) hit the slopes in their droves. “Irish people skiing!”, as Tommy Tiernan exclaimed with a touch of disbelief, “Was there anything more frightening to the posh people of Europe, up there in the Alps, with their designer gear. All Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, Gucci. We were there, head-to-toe, Aldi!”. But Directski.com was well ahead of Tommy with its award winning ‘Some Like it Hot’ radio advert.
Directski.com’s entry into the UK market in 2001 was a first for any Irish holiday company but its cheeky approach to promoting affordable ski holidays for all raised more than a few eyebrows for British audiences unaccustomed to the Irish wit.
An early poster campaign found itself the subject of public outcry for suggesting that, if you couldn’t afford a Directski.com holiday, you really were in trouble. But things really hit a frenzy when Anthony read that folks from the North of England were less likely to go skiing due to lower wages than their southern cousins, and set out to redress the balance with Directski.com’s (now infamous) “Geordies” campaign.
Posters across the London underground professed Anthony’s childhood dream; “I have a dream to make skiing affordable for all… even Geordies.”. The ad sparked uproar throughout the country. With the Daily Mail leading the charge, the British media stiffened its upper lip and declared “Wor!” on the Irish upstarts. Even Auntie Beeb joined in with Direcski.com hitting the prime time with a “funny things that happened this week” spot on Watchdog.The backlash was mighty! Anthony didn’t expect to cause such a stir, nor did he intend to offend people. As a Dublin native, he certainly didn’t expect to be called a “Southern Twat”. He merely wanted the people to know that Directski.com was here and was on a mission to make skiing affordable for all.
In 2011, the boys at Directski.com inadvertently trod on the toes of market dominating ski company, Crystal Holidays. In an otherwise unremarkable email newsletter, Anthony and Neal pointed out that some independent research showed that their prices were, on average, WAY cheaper than Crystal (14.4% to be exact). A senior executive from Crystal (part of TUI Group - a German-owned travel and tourism company, the self declared “world’s number one tourism business”) was so outraged and offended by these preposterously accurate claims that he contacted Tony (their Da) in an attempt to get the boys sent to their bedrooms with no dinner (...he had actually threatened the boys with all sorts of big company nasty stuff). The Collins boys were so amused by this act, that they decided to take on their rivals in a confrontational yet cheeky ad campaign with the slogan ‘Crystal Ski were so upset about our low prices they phoned our dad’. Anthony and Neal brought out the big guns taking Frank Bruno out of retirement and into the blazing ring of market competition. What a time to be alive!
Fifteen years on, Directski.com continues to ride on this wild rollercoaster. Our company has shifted, moulded and reinvented itself to meet the growing demands of the market. Our technologies have improved, our products have been refined and our people have gotten smarter.
In October 2015, Directski.com received a complete rebrand at the hands of its super-duper multi-talented marketing team. Our aim was to recapture the original essence of Directski.com when it was first launched 15 years ago, while making it relevant to today’s audience. We went back to our roots, blew the dust off the old photo albums and discovered a magical story, a special product and a unique market position. We took what we learned, and injected into Directski.com’s new ‘look’. We created a new website, designed new ads and re-invented ourselves in an attempt to focus on what was truly important - providing our customers with great products at great prices, with no compromise on quality. Without forgetting our signature sense of humour, of course.
Today, we strive to hold on to our unique position in the ski holiday market. We continue to provide the people with Ireland’s only ski-only tour operator. We have developed strong relationships with our suppliers, with generations of deep bonds between their families and ours. We work hard to get the best deals, and pass them directly onto you - with no middleman involved. We don’t waste your time or money on glossy brochures, expensive call centres or high street shops.
All of the products offered by Directski.com are handpicked by our team of highly experienced, smart skiers. We offer the highest quality of product at the lowest prices. We ensure the best in-resort service, with an enthusiastic and dedicated team of Directski.com reps working on the ground. We are nice people with plenty of local knowledge who are more than happy to help. So much so that over 95% of people who travel with Directski.com would travel with us again, an industry leading satisfaction rate.
A final message from the Collins’ boys. “Sure we’re a little older (Anthony - the eldest of my four kids is the same age as Directski.com) and our ski legs are getting a little more creaky but our campaign continues - making great ski holidays affordable for everyone. See you on the slopes!”
Anthony & Neal
Hang in There! We're working hard to find you the best deal on your ski holiday!
We're so confident that you won't find a better deal anywhere else that we promise to refund you 100% of the difference if you find an identical available ski holiday cheaper anywhere. This ensures you can really afford to splash out on some aprés ski when you get there! T&Cs apply. Find out more
Loading full details of your hotel choice. Almost done!