Since its inception seven years ago, NUCO Travel has come a long way from a makeshift office in mum and dad’s lounge to a tour operator carrying 25,000 passengers in its seventh successive season of growth.
This year our friends in Manchester have taken a different approach to their annual sales tour and produced a full newspaper of student snowsports information for your enjoyment. We take a look at some of this season’s highlights and the added extras keeping NUCO at the top of its game.
If you thought that student snowsports was growing, you’re right. Recent statistics gathered by NUCO state that 61% of their university travellers needed more capacity and over 80% hit their number or exceeded capacity. Demand for trips is high, with Edinburgh selling 900 places on its trip in only four minutes! Universities everywhere are striving to go bigger, be more elaborate and host truly unique experiences for their members. Back in 2012 NUCO took its first independent Oxbridge Varsity Trip with 3,000 passengers and this trip still runs today. Over at Nottingham University, their Easter trip grew from 650 to 1,270 passengers in just two years. The appetite for snowsports amongst students in the UK is utterly insatiable!
NUCO Travel Managing Director Danny Nugent says: “I could write a dissertation on our proudest moments from this year. Our message is simple: trust our experience and enjoy your experience.”
In the quest to be more elaborate, the focus on skiing and snosboarding can sometimes be lost but NUCO prides itself on first and foremost delivering an amazing experience on snow. So focused is the company’s mission to get students to the mountains, it has produced a separate resort guide packed with details which you can read below.
Success goes hand in hand with providing an outstanding service, a quality evidenced by a 4/5 customer feedback rating for overall experience. NUCO has been busy cooking up new partnerships this season and one in particular that caught our eye was with Bumble, the dating app. Where better to meet your other half than the place where you are happiest: in the mountains? Keep an eye out for Bumble Ski Lifts on NUCO’S ever-expanding menu of After Dark events. Arctic paintball and champagne showers anyone?
If you prefer big artists to bring your trip to life, NUCO brought the likes of Rudimental, My Nu Leng, Example and Shy FX to the Alps this season for some serious showdowns.
On home turf they partnered with BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) in 2018, looking to revolutionise and reinvent the iconic snowsports series which includes BUDS (British University Dryslope Championships), the Dome Series and Main Event. The new-look BUDS included a giant BUDS sign which transformed Hillend into Hollywood (albeit a windy one), a VIP entrance for NUCO committee members and a separate competitor entrance to ensure no competitor missed out on course inspection time. New for 2019, NUCO has just announced that BUDS will have a jungle theme for the weekend, both on and off the slope. Other partnerships to look out for next season are Planks Grassroots, Kings, SUDS, Granite City and Sheestyle.
This season we saw hundreds of keen competitors don Line-S bibs and get involved in racing and freestyle events with NUCO across the Alps. Whether you are an absolute novice or seasoned park rat, taking part in these free events is the perfect place to give competitions a whirl. No qualifications needed, just a winning attitude and ideally some balance.
Our parent company, Ski Club of Great Britain, organised the first British and World Ski Championships over a hundred years ago, and we are continuing that legacy with the Line-S Games today. It’s an open invite to join in and throw your first shapes in the park or challenge rivals to a race. Competitions are open to all levels and the vin chaud will always be flowing for spectators. This year NUCO passengers will once again be eligible for free Ski Club Line-S membership worth £20, giving access to hundreds of discounts and on-snow services with The Ski Club of Great Britain.
Taking the green run
NUCO say that few industries are more affected by climate change than the snowsports one, so we all have a responsibility to minimise our impact on the environment. In an industry-first move, they have included carbon offsetting as standard for all passengers. Offsetting includes travel (whether it’s a coach or flight) and accommodation which is new this season.
NUCO work with Carbon Footprint, the UK’s leading offsetting company, to contribute to renewable energy projects in the developing world which reduce the reliance on fossil fuels and cut CO2. This year they offset over 3,000 tonnes of CO2 and are conscious of their environmental impact, choosing to replace single-use plastics with biodegradable cups at events and not giving away single-use plastic bags at freshers’ fairs.
These are just a few highlights from the NUCO Times but you can read it below.