Ski resort prices heading downhill

Ski resort prices heading downhill

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Prices have dropped in three-quarters of 27 ski resorts this winter, with double-digit percentage falls in over a third of them, according to a new study.

Bansko in Bulgaria and Kranjska Gora in Solvenia have emerged as the cheapest winter sports resorts.

Zermatt proved to be the most expensive in Europe and over twice as expensive as Sestriere in Italy.

Heavy price falls have been made in many of the French, Austrian and Italian resorts, mainly due to the strength of sterling.

Italy is best value of the main European Alpine countries against Austria, France and Switzerland.

The cost of ski equipment, lift passes, ski school, meals and drinks in Kranjska Gora, researched by Post Office Travel Money Ski Resort Report partner Crystal Ski Holidays, is down almost 12% to £264 since last season.

This helped the Slovenian resort to close the gap with five-time best-value resort Bansko (£259) to less than £5.

An 11% price fall in the cheapest Italian resort, Livigno (£286), helped it to overtake Austria’s Ellmau (£306) and move within £27 of Bansko.

Price falls of 9-13% per cent in resort costs were found in Sestriere, Italy (£322), Morzine, France (£333) and Ruka, Finland (£334).

They have overtaken Soldeu (£344), where UK skiers face paying almost 4% more than a year ago when the Andorran resort registered the biggest price fall.

The three Canadian resorts surveyed – Tremblant, Banff and Whistler – will cost UK skiers less than last year and cheaper than the US trio of Winter Park, Vail and Breckenridge, where prices have risen by up to 14%.

Andrew Brown, of Post Office Travel Money, said: “Skiers heading to many resorts in Europe will benefit from sterling’s increased strength.

“This means that even where local prices have edged up, UK tourists will find the cost of skiing as well as meals and drinks noticeably cheaper this winter.

“While skiing remains cheapest in Bulgaria and Slovenia, our research reveals that long-established favourites in France, Austria and Italy are great value too. Livigno is a great bet for both solo skiers and families as are Morzine and Ellmau.

“However, bargain-hunters should exercise caution when considering Swiss resorts as sterling has not strengthened enough to counteract the effect of rising local prices.”

Research conducted by Crystal Ski Holidays found local price rises of 2-3% in the three Swiss resorts included in the Post Office Travel Money report. This means the gap between Saas Fee (£573), Wengen (£597) and Zermatt (£699) and their eurozone competitors has widened.

Crystal Ski Holidays managing director, Tamsin Todd, said: "With the favourable exchange rates, an even wider choice of resorts and direct regional flights, and our expert in-resort service, we are optimistic that this year we’ll see further growth as more customers return to the slopes.”

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