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RESORT PRICES HEAD DOWNHILL FOR 17/18 - Katie Bamber, Senior News Reporter
Thursday October 12, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

The 11th annual Post Office Ski Resort Report is out and claims prices are going down after the rises of last season.

Crystal Ski Holidays and the Post Office have teamed up to produce a useful overview of the costs in resort for ski holidays for UK visitors - ski hire, lessons, food, drink and other expenses.

22 resorts popular among Brits have been surveyed.

The good news?

Prices are down in three-quarters of the European resorts surveyed.

"With increasing pressure on the pocket, resort costs will be a key factor in determining where to ski this year," the Post Office Travel Money's Andrew Brown has said.

"Prices are down in most resorts but the best savings to be struck are where the improved exchange rate combines with falling local prices ... there's a great choice of low cost Italian resorts and price falls in France are greater than in other destinations.

"The clear message is to do your homework before booking this year's ski trip."

In-resort costsIn-resort costs

News from the big four:

 - That's Austria, Switzerland, Italy and France

The biggest price drop is in the French Alps at 13%.

Sestriere in Italy was the best value of nine world class resorts surveyed for the report (Cervinia, Selva Val Gardena, Val d'Isère, Courchevel, Kitzbühel, St Anton, Wengen and Zermatt).

Zermatt is double the price of Sestriere.

Even in Swiss resorts that you famously pay top dollar for in Europe - Wengen and Says Fee researched here - Crystal research showed a decrease in cost up to 6%.

France drops the most in cost:
  • Les Deux Alpes is down 11%
  • Serre Chevalier is down 9.3% 
  • Val d'Isère is down 7.6%

On the other hand, UK visitors visiting Austria have met with an increase in costs.

Down in priceDown in price

Another big feature on this year's report:

Italy challenges Easter Europe big for top destinations with the best value.

These are Bardonecchia, Sestriere, Cervinia and La Thuile.

European Ski ResortsEuropean Ski Resorts

European Ski ResortsEuropean Ski Resorts

European Ski ResortsEuropean Ski Resorts

European Ski ResortsEuropean Ski Resorts

"It is great news that prices faced by skiers will be lower than last year in so many resorts," Crystal Ski Holidays managing director, Chris Logan, has said.

"France and Italy are already in hot demand this season and we expect this to strengthen when savvy skiers check out prices and find they can pay less if they pick resorts like Morzine or Sestriere, where both prices and snow are likely to be falling!

"There are other ways to reduce costs including pre-booking ski passes and equipment at a discounted price."   

Including the lesser known resorts, Europe's top 4 best value ski destinations are:
  • Kranjska Gora, Slovenia
  • Bardonecchia, Italy
  • Bansko, Bulgaria
  • Morzine, France
  • Ski tuition in Kranjska Gora is half that of nine other featured resorts
  • Italy features big with four resorts in the top 10.
  • Bansko has been six-time best value resort winner
  • Morzine has seen the biggest drop in value - 13% since last season
"Once the ski trip is booked, it is crucial to plan carefully to ensure the ski budget does not go 'off piste'," the Post Office's Andrew Brown adds.

"Take enough foreign currency to cover all the costs you are likely to incur in addition to ski passes and equipment but avoid wasting cash through last minute airport currency purchases.

"Once abroad, paying on plastic can incur transaction charges so consider carrying cash on a prepaid Travel Money Card which avoids this pitfall."

And perhaps the easiest approach is to minimise your spend in foreign currency while the pound is weak, by choosing all-inclusive ski holidays said the founder of SNO Richard Sinclair.

"When all your meals and even a free bar are included, it's much easier to stick to a budget. Booking inclusive might add a couple of hundred to the holiday price, but can save a lot more once out in resort," said Sinclair
Prices reported to be fallingPrices reported to be falling

Year-on-Year price falls in %

Morzine, France -13.0%
Les Deux Alpes, Frances -11.0%
Serre Chevalier, France -9.3%
Val d'Isère, France -7.6%
Kranjska Gora, Slovenia -6.0%
Zermatt, Switzerland -6.0%
Saas Fee, Switzerland -6.0%
Wengen, Switzerland -5.0%
La Thuile, Italy -3.0%
Bansko, Bulgaria -3.0%
Sestriere, Italy -2.0%
Soldeu, Andorra -1.0%
Mayrhofen, Austria -1.0%
St Anton, Austria -1.0%
Ruka, Finland -0.5%

What's the score in North America?

Canadian dollar offers good valueCanadian dollar offers good value

The price gap has widened between Canada and the USA, with the US resorts more expensive.

This is despite the rise of sterling against the USD recently and is due an increase in local prices in those resorts surveyed by Crystal Ski researchers.

Six North American competitor resorts were looked at;

Banff, Canada
Whistler, Canada
Tremblant, Canada
Breckenridge, USA
Park City, USA
Vail, USA

US resorts are significantly more expensive for UK visitors - nearly £500 higher.

North AmericaNorth America

With a recent rise in the value of sterling and a reported fall in local prices through Europe skiing this winter may be slightly more affordable.

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

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