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Crystal launches guide for next winter
Thursday July 9, 2015 - Email this article to a friend

There is a digital guide to family trips, new ways to spread holiday costs and 7 new resorts. It comes as PlanetSKI learns the annual Crystal Ski Industry Report is to be axed.

It may be July with Wimbledon in full swing, the Summer Ashes series underway and people's summer holidays just around the corner, but Crystal wants us to think about winter.

The UK's largest winter holiday operator is laying out its offerings for the winter ahead in a 236-page guide or handbook.

It prefers not to call it a 'brochure' as we reported this time last year.

Crystal is offering 133 different ski resorts with departures from 24 UK airports as well as rail transport via the Channel Tunnel.

There are special pricing offers and incentives such as lift passes being included in the holiday package, child places and hotel credits of up to €150 per person in selected hotels.

Lift-pass inclusive packages are available for Engelberg, La Clusaz, Chamrousse and Valloire.

There is free ski equipment for children in over 60 resorts if an adult pre-books the same.

It also offers a new digital guide to family skiing that we have reported about earlier on PlanetSKI.

However we understand one product Crystal is dropping is its annual Ski Industry Report. 

It has been a useful piece of information for UK snowsports industry in recent years as it gives an overview of the winter market - how many people ski, the countries they go to and which companies they prefer to use.

It needs to be taken with a pinch of salt at times, but it will be missed by many including us here at PlanetSKI.

Other senior figures we have spoken to in the UK snowsports industry have expressed their disappointment.

It was viewed as the most useful set of snowsports statistics in the public domain.

See here for the scaled down report from last year when it was just 8-pages and the fuller report from 2013 when it ran to 22-pages.

Crystal will be issuing a report in September, but only its own figures and it will not have the breadth and depth of its previous publications.

Here on PlanetSKI we will bring you further reaction later.

Out at lastAxed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The company takes around 200,000 people to the slopes last season and we understand numbers were up for 2014/15.

So, which new resorts are there for Crystal in 2015/16?

France

Chatel: It is a family resort in the Portes du Soleil ski area. Skiing is separated in two distinct areas, one connecting to the Swiss face and the other to the Avoriaz and beyond. 

Sainte Foy: A quiet ski resort in the Tarentaise valley close to Les Arcs and on the way up to Tignes and Val d'Isere. There is rarely a queue with ski runs are often empty. It has reputation for great powder skiing when conditions are right.

Italy

Araba: It is a quiet village on the Sella Ronda with some of the steepest sections on the circuit and plenty of challenges for the more seasoned skier with heli-skiing and off-piste on the Marmolada glacier.

Corvara & Colfosco: This is where Alta Badia meets the Sella Ronda ski area and is one of the best locations in the Italian Dolomites for endless and easy slopes. The Alta Badia area has over the recent years built up a gourmet culture, on and off the mountain.

Switzerland

Engelberg: It has some fabulous off-piste skiing, lively après-ski town and the revolving Mount Titlis cable car. It is often over-looked as people concentrate on Verbier and Zermatt instead.

Germany

Ruhpolding: Bavaria offers snowy meadows and scenic mountains, ski and other activities to suit all tastes from cross-country skiing to driving piste bashers. Novice skiers can ski on the local mountain for free; more advanced skiers will prefer the nearby larger ski area.

Finland

Pyhä: At the edge of a national park with a dramatic background of frozen lakes, waterfalls and snow-covered forest. For night skiing, lifts are open to 7pm for those who want more.

Here at PlanetSKI we see the expansion of Italy as perhaps the most interesting development. 

Other smaller operators, including Ski Solutions, are increasing their holiday offers in Italy.

The country offers 4* accomodation that is significantly better and cheaper than some other alpine counties, good large and linked ski area for intermediate skiers plus great food and hospitality.

Crystal guideCrystal guide

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is also the continuation of the programme in Norway after a successful two winters. 

PlanetSKI was in Norway last December when there were the best conditions in Europe at the time; see here for our reports from the time.

There is also continued interest in Andorra from Crystal after a successful expansion of the programme a few years ago; see here for when PlanetSKI visited in 2013.

Next winter Crystal will be offering even more holidays to the Pyrenees.

Andorra, the PyreneesAndorra, the Pyrenees

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crystal also has new flights for next winter.

Birmingham to Verona for Italian resorts; London Heathrow to Toulouse for Andorra; Luton to Zurich for Switzerland and an additional flight from Gatwick to Innsbruck for Austria.

For full details about the 2015/16 Crystal Guide then follow this link.

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