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REPORT REVEALS CHEAPEST PLACES TO SKI

Bulgaria offers the best value with some Italian resorts not far behind. It comes as prices rise in 80% of resorts surveyed.

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It’s the 13th annual Ski Report by Post Office Travel Money and produced in partnership with the largest UK tour operator Crystal Ski Holidays.

In a survey of 30 top European resorts – nine new to the report this year, Borovets has emerged as best value.

Just beating Bansko to the top spot.

Using local prices provided by Crystal Ski Holidays the Ski Resort Report compares the cost of ski and boot hire, lift passes and ski school.

Plus lunch and drinks for one person to give a realistic view of what it will cost an adult skier on a one week holiday.

The two Bulgarian resorts were both significantly cheaper than any eurozone destination, but the lower cost of lunchtime meals allowed Borovets (£448) to pip Bansko (£453) for the top spot.

Borovets, Bulgaria

Borovets, Bulgaria

Bansko, Bulgaria

Bansko, Bulgaria

PlanetSKI is finalising details of a trip to Borovets and Bansko in January.

We’ll be reporting on what you get for your money.

Is it a false economy as the experience is far inferior to elsewhere, or is it a good value destination that people overlook at their cost?

PlanetSKI will be providing the answers.

See here for Crystal Ski Holidays information on ski resorts in Bulgaria.

In the report third-placed Bardonecchia (£483) is the eurozone’s best value resort and has the lowest price for skiing (lift pass, equipment hire and tuition).

At £332, the Italian resort was around 5% cheaper than either of its Bulgarian competitors.

However, the higher cost of meals and drinks in Bardonecchia – £151 for one week compared with £98 in Borovets and £104 in Bansko – makes it slightly more expensive overall than the two Bulgarian resorts.

Bardonecchia, Italy

Bardonecchia, Italy

As with the recent Family Ski Resort Report, that we reported on earlier on PlanetSKI, Italy takes five of the top 10 places in the main report table.

Sestriere (5th, £556), Sauze (6th, £564, new for 2019), La Thuile (9th, £610) and Cervinia (10th, £615) join Bardonecchia in the best value top 10.

Best ski resort prices

Best ski resort prices

Crystal Ski Holidays suggests that a good way for bargain-hunting skiers to shave money off the cost of their ski holiday is to take advantage of the discounts available by pre-booking ski essentials.

“The report shows that, despite barometer prices rising year-on-year, there is good value news for British skiers,” said Crystal Ski Holidays Managing Director, Chris Logan.

Chris Logan, Crystal Ski Holidays

Chris Logan, Crystal Ski Holidays

“Bulgaria is known for being a great value destination for ski so it’s no surprise that Borovets and Bansko are in the top spots for this season.”

“Our customers will be pleased to see a decrease in costs in Val’d’Isere, which remains enduringly popular, and Italy continues to be more affordable for price-conscious customers across a variety of resorts.”

“As well as Bardonecchia and Sestriere, La Thuile is a particular favourite for Crystal Ski Holidays customers.”

Kranjska Gora (£553) has slipped to fourth place in the table after prices rose 22.5% because of a hefty increase in ski school costs this season.
In previous reports the Slovenian resort boasted the cheapest prices for tuition and was even rated best value overall in 2017.

Prices have risen in 18 of 21 resorts that were also surveyed last year but this is not because of the sterling exchange rate.

The pound is stronger currently than a year ago against all European currencies, which has helped to mitigate the increase in costs for UK visitors.

As a result, only four of the 19 resorts where prices have risen have registered increases of 10% or more.

Aside from Kranjska Gora, these are Vemdalen (18.3%), Bansko (11.8%) and La Thuile (10%).

Only three resorts have seen prices falls.

In Norway Crystal researchers surveyed prices in Hemsedal (11th, £620) and found that they were over 25 per cent cheaper than Trysil, the resort that featured in the 2018 report.

Hemsedal, Norway

Hemsedal, Norway

Prices have also fallen by almost 9% in Val d’Isère (24th, £807) and are down by 1.1% in Saas Fee (28th, £883).

Saas Fee is one of three Swiss resorts surveyed to rate among the most expensive resorts.

Zermatt is again the most expensive resort of those surveyed at £1,043, while Wengen (27th) also rates among the priciest places to ski with a barometer total of £881.

However, along with Cervinia (1.4%), the barometer increases found by researchers in Zermatt (1.6%) and Wengen (1.2%) were the lowest among the 18 resorts where prices had risen.

Ellmau in Austria (£570, 7th) and Vemdalen in Sweden (£608, 8th) are the only resorts to break the stranglehold of Eastern Europe and Italy on the 10 best value places in the table.

France again failed to gain any top 10 places with Morzine (£635) highest-placed in 12th position.

Of the seven French and seven Austrian resorts surveyed, only Ellmau and Morzine were placed in the top half of the table.

While the overall barometer prices have risen in the majority of resorts, the survey found that lift pass, ski equipment and tuition costs had fallen in seven of them:

  • Hemsedal (-14.7%),
  • Val d’Isère (-13.5%),
  • Saas Fee (-5.5%),
  • Cervinia (-3.3%),
  • Les Deux Alpes (-1.9%),
  • Bardonecchia (-1.1%)
  • Wengen (-0.4%).

Nick Boden, Head of Post Office Travel Money, which accounts for one-in-four UK currency transactions, said:

“Consumer research shows that resort costs are a big concern for British holidaymakers and this makes it doubly important to do some homework before booking a ski holiday because the price of lift passes, equipment hire and tuition can vary by hundreds of pounds.

“Despite rising prices in many resorts, there are great value options to choose from in Eastern Europe, while Italy is the obvious choice for bargain hunters in the eurozone and will appeal to skiers who prefer to head to the slopes in one of the long-established favourites.”

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