Hotelplan UK

We are a group of well-established, award-winning, specialist tour operators known particularly for adventure travel, ski and walking holidays. 

We are passionate about the holidays we create, priding ourselves on top quality experience and excellent service. Sustainability and responsible tourism are at the heart of everything we do.

Hotelplan UK includes Explore Worldwide, Inghams, Inntravel and Santa’s Lapland. Along with our UK and Europe-based teams, we have growing operations in Australia and North America. 

Hotelplan UK is a subsidiary of Hotelplan Group, a large pan-European travel group headquartered in Switzerland.


4 leading travel


Trips to
~ 100


> 425 staff in the UK and beyond

We are a purpose-led organisation, focused on delivering equally across the 'triple bottom line' of People - Planet - Profit.  


We are driven to be the most loved travel company in our markets, famous for customer experience and sustainable travel.


We aim to improve our customers' quality of life by creating exceptional travel experiences.


Leadership Team
CEO Hotelplan UK

In 1997, Joe Ponte graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Business with majors in Marketing and Human Resource Management from Charles Sturt University in Australia. From 2003 to 2007 he was National Marketing Manager at Flight Centre Australia in Brisbane before joining Stockland, one of Australia's largest real estate companies, as National Manager Sales and Marketing for one of their three divisions from 2009 to 2013. He then moved to Brand USA as Director for the Australia and New Zealand markets. From 2014 to 2016 he served as Global General Manager Sales and Marketing for Insider Journey's, a tour operator in Australia focused on Southeast Asia. In 2016 he joined Topdeck Travel in London – as General Manager for Asia Pacific from 2016 to 2017, and Global General Manager from 2017 to 2018. Subsequently, he was Managing Director at Explore Worldwide, the adventure travel tour operator, and has been CEO of Hotelplan UK and a member of the Group Executive Board since 2020.

Group Chief Financial Officer

Colin Parselle graduated from the University of Birmingham in 1995 with a Bachelor's degree in Economics and began his career as a Graduate Accountant with Zurich Financial Services. In 2001, he joined The Shell Petroleum Company as Financial Controller before moving to First Choice Holidays as Head of Financial Accounting in 2004. In 2006 he was promoted to Head of Sector Reporting – Mainstream and served in this role until 2008. In 2008 he moved to TUI Travel as Finance Director TUI Ski, where he was then promoted to Divisional Finance Director Specialist Holidays Group in 2010. In 2014, he took on the role of Divisional Finance Director Marine & Crystal within the company. From 2015 to 2018, he served as CFO for Specialist Journeys Group, a private equity held travel business, from 2018 to 2020 as CFO for Global Touring, and in 2020 as CFO for STA Travel Group. In 2020, he assumed his current role as Group CFO at Hotelplan UK and is a member of the Executive Board.

Group HR Director

Nicky Lyle studied Human Resources Management and Services at the University of West London. In 1996 she started her career as Senior HR Advisor at EDF Energy and moved to Rebus Technolgies as Recruitment Manager in 2001. From 2002 to 2005 she was HR Manager at Wm Morrison Supermarkets and from 2005 to 2017, she held different positions at World Duty Free (Dufry) in HR and Customer Service across Europe and USA. In 2017, she joined Hotelplan UK as Group Head of HR and was promoted to Group HR Director of Hotelplan UK in 2018. Nicola Lyle is a member of the Executive Board of Hotelplan UK.

Group IT Director

Craig Randell is a seasoned technology leader with over 30 years of experience in software development, infrastructure management and technology leadership. Throughout his career, Craig has demonstrated a strong track record of driving innovation, leading high-performing teams, and delivering impactful solutions that drive business growth. Prior to joining Hotelplan UK in 2022, Craig was the CIO of TUI's Northern Region Technology teams – and before that, he was a freelance technology consultant for many prominent businesses including Wagamama, Home Retail Group, Connells Group, Steria and Unisys. Craig has a keen eye for emerging technologies and industry trends. He remains at the forefront of technological innovation, leveraging cutting-edge tools and methodologies to drive digital transformation and create competitive advantages. 

Director of Sustainability

After completing her Master's degree in Tourism, Environment and Development at Kings College London, Prue Stone began her career as Commercial Manager at Explore Worldwide in 2011. In 2019, she moved within the company to the role of Head of Sustainability and was promoted to Group Head of Sustainability at Hotelplan UK in 2021. Prue Stone is a member of the Executive Board of Hotelplan UK.

Managing Director Explore Worldwide

After graduating from the University of Sunderland, Michael Edwards began his career in the travel industry as head of digital marketing for the Flight Centre Group before moving into the advertising industry as General Manager of Columbus Search. He made the move back into travel serving as Product & Marketing Director at and from 2007 to 2008 then Group General Manager Product Marketing & Sales at Tourism & Leisure Holdings from 2008 to 2010, and Managing Director EMEA at G Adventures from 2010 to 2013. He then moved to Intrepid Group where he was Regional Director UK for EMEA and later as Chief Growth Officer. Since 2021, Michael Edwards has been Managing Director at Explore Worldwide and a member of the Executive Board of Hotelplan UK.

Managing Director Inntravel

After completing her Bachelor's degree in Marketing and Business Law at the University of Strathclyde, Emma Gray began her career working overseas for Thomas Cook Tour Operations (Turkey, Spain, Greece and Cyprus) in various roles. She then worked for Thomas Cook as Assistant Product Manager and subsequently as Product Manager from 2006 to 2010. Alongside this role, she obtained a postgraduate certificate in Business Management and Leadership from Loughborough University between 2008 and 2011. In 2010, she moved to Jet2holidays, the second largest British tour operator, where she first worked as Product Manager for six years before becoming General Manager responsible for the department Product & Product Development in 2016. In 2022, she took over the position as Managing Director Inntravel at Hotelplan UK and has since been a member of the Executive Board.

Managing Director Inghams and Santa's Lapland

While studying accountancy at Birkbeck, University of London, John Mansell began his professional career in 1987 as Credit and Purchase Ledger Controller at Martyn Holidays before moving to Thatchowner as Assistant Accountant in 1990. From 1995 to 2007 he was Head of Product, Pricing and Yield at Style Holidays, which later became part of Thomas Cook. He then worked as IT Consultant for a new reservation system in Dynamic Packaging at XL Leisure Group between 2007 and 2008. In 2008, he joined Hotelplan UK, where he has held various positions to date – most recently as Group Commercial Director, before being promoted to Chief Operating Officer in 2022. John Mansell is a member of the Executive Board of Hotelplan UK.

Company History

Walter Ingham founds Inghams. He is credited as the man who took Britain skiing, launching with six winter trips in his first year


Hotelplan is launched in Switzerland by Migros founder Gottlieb Duttweiler to allow the average person to have a holiday. Over 52,000 bookings were made that first year


Hotelplan arranges its first trips beyond Switzerland and subsidiaries are set up in Italy, the Netherlands and France


Hotelplan makes its first UK acquisition with Inghams


Explore Worldwide is launched by Derek Moore and Travers Cox, offering six tours in a four-page brochure


Inntravel founded by Richard and Linda Hearn, selling short ferry breaks to France


Hotelplan acquires Inntravel


Hotelplan acquires the Enigma Travel Group, which includes Santa’s Lapland


Hotelplan acquires Explore Worldwide


Explore becomes Hotelplan's first B Corp Certified brand