Mark Warner Ltd
Mark Warner is an independent British tour operator founded in 1974 by entrepreneurs Mark Chitty and Andrew Searle. Based in London, it originally specialised in singles' and couples' ski holidays in just one chalet in Switzerland but has since expanded into family and beach resort holidays.
Mark Warner's summer destinations include beach resorts in Corsica, Greece, Sardinia and Turkey, with facilities including tennis and watersports centres. Its winter ski programme includes 11 chalet hotels, one chalet and apartments in the French Alps, Austria and Italy.
Mark Warner has a childcare programme but certain ski properties are reserved for adults, in keeping with the original idea. In 2012, the Levante Beach Resort on Rhodes, a 5-star resort built to Mark Warner's own specifications, was added to the portfolio.
In 2010 ex-Savills director Giles Gale launched a new associated business - Mark Warner Property - to specialise in the sales and marketing of ski property developments in Austria. In 2012 the business was expanded into Switzerland with a particular focus on Grimentz and the Valais region.
In 2014, Mark Warner Holidays was a three-time winner in the British Travel Awards (Best Family Tour Operator [Medium size], Best Activity & Adventure Operator [Medium size] and Best All Inclusive Operator [Medium Size]). It was Best Ski Operator according to the Telegraph Travel Awards.
In 2007, three-year-old Madeleine McCann was abducted from an apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, which had been booked through Mark Warner. The company later launched legal action against its insurers to recover earnings lost after holidaymakers stayed away from the Praia da Luz resort due to media coverage of the disappearance, and in 2015 closed its Ocean Club resort in the town.
Mark Warner's childcare services were criticised in the BBC's Whistleblower programme in February 2008. It was discovered that staff were working illegally in Egypt, using tourist visas instead of work visas. The company subsequently issued a statement saying: "It is company policy that all childcare staff employed by Mark Warner must supply two references and submit a form to check their criminal record. There were clearly two occasions where we failed to do this." It apologised and said it would tighten up its procedures.
In December 2016, Mark Warner wrote to all of its customers holding live bookings, adding a £50 per person surcharge citing the Pound to Euro exchange rate. The company insisted it was within its rights under booking conditions to make such a charge.
- Anderson, Jane (1 June 2013). "Family fun near Faliraki". Independent. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
- Barnard, Lucy (22 March 2015). "Trader profile: Alpine property lures buyers from the Gulf". The National. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
- Caroline Gammell, "Madeleine McCann: Apartment was not made crime scene for two months", The Daily Telegraph, 8 August 2008.
- Hencke, David; Evans, Rob (4 April 2009). "Madeleine McCann case: Resort firm Mark Warner sues insurers for losses". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
- Drake, Matthew (3 January 2015). "Madeleine McCann holiday firm pulls out of Portuguese resort where she vanished". Mirror. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
- "Ofsted Whistleblower reveals widespread failings in the care of the under-fives". BBC. 5 May 2008. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
- "Mark Warner's Response to BBC Whistleblower". Archive.is. Archived from the original on 12 March 2008. Retrieved 4 August 2017.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
- "Trouble In Britain's Childcare Industry". The Baby Website.com. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
- Morris, Hugh (12 December 2016). "'Brexit surcharge': ski firm demands extra cash from customers who have already paid". Telegraph. Retrieved 4 August 2017.