• Good news for skiers: prices have fallen downhill as the full range of European ski resorts reopen to British visitors

    Good news for skiers: prices have fallen downhill as the full range of European ski resorts reopen to British visitors

    • Prices have fallen in two-thirds of the ski resorts surveyed for the Ski Resort Report ( www.postoffice.co.uk/skireport2022 ) but costs vary by hundreds of pounds
    • Bulgarian resorts are again cheapest, while Swiss ones remain the priciest
    • Italy’s Bardonecchia is the best value in the Eurozone

     

    Following France’s decision to reopen its borders to British tourists, ski enthusiasts now have a full range of European ski resorts to choose from and new research shows that prices are down in many of them.  The 15 th annual Post Office Travel Money Ski Resort Report , produced in partnership with leading ski holiday operator Crystal Ski Holidays, reveals that prices for ski school, equipment, lift passes, meals and drinks have fallen in two-thirds of the resorts surveyed 1 .  While cost-conscious skiers will again find prices cheapest in Bulgaria and Italy, they will have to dig deeper to pay for ski essentials in Switzerland.

     

    Families planning trips during the school half-term in February or in the Easter Holidays will find that prices have dropped year-on-year in 19 of 28 ski resorts rated most suitable for skiers with children 2 , although they vary by hundreds of pounds across Europe.  Bansko in Bulgaria offers the lowest prices for bargain hunters.  At a total of £1,358 for the ski barometer basket for two adults and two children 2 , prices have fallen by 12 per cent in Bansko, making it the best value resort for the fourth year running.

     

    Bardonecchia in the Italian Alps has again emerged as cheapest in the Eurozone for families.  Runner-up in the survey to Bansko, Bardonecchia has seen its prices fall back to £1,592 – over 20 per cent lower than a year ago when the resort registered a big increase in ski costs.  Comparing this season’s prices with those in 2019, the last full ski season, families can expect to pay around 2.3 per cent more.

     

    Among seven countries surveyed, Italy is once again offering bargain hunters the widest range of well-priced ski resorts.  In addition to Bardonecchia, four more resorts feature in the best value top 10. Sestriere (£1,761) is in third place after its prices fell 5.9 per cent year-on-year, while Passo Tonale is fourth cheapest at £1,782, a 10.2 per cent drop.  La Thuile (£1,887) takes sixth place with a price fall of 9.2 per cent.  Cervinia (£2,106) is in 10 th position and registered one of the biggest falls of 14.4 per cent.

     

    Andorra is another good value choice for the cost-conscious.  Arinsal (£1,883) is fifth cheapest, although prices are 6.3 per cent higher than last year.  Soldeu also features in the top 10 but prices there are 9.3 per cent lower than a year ago so it has risen to seventh place with a total barometer cost of £1,941.

     

    The remaining two places in the best value top ten are taken by Austrian resorts – Rauris (£1,974) and Ellmau (£2,045).  However, none of the nine French ski resorts surveyed made the top ten, with Morzine (£2,134) best-placed in 11 th position.  Elsewhere in France, there have been big price rises for Tigne (£2,868) of 8.1 per cent and Alpe d’Huez (£2,481), where prices are up by 11.1 per cent.

     

    High prices in Saas Fee (£3,120) and Grindelwald (£3,119) have again made Switzerland the most expensive destination for families, although prices in Saas Fee have fallen 2.6 per cent year-on-year.

     

    Nick Boden, Head of Post Office Travel Money , said: “This year’s comparison of prices in all the leading European ski destinations shows that the cost of lift passes, equipment hire, tuition and living costs continues to vary by hundreds of pounds.  This makes it vitally important for skiers looking for a bargain break to do their homework before booking a ski holiday.  Bulgaria and Italy are again looking great value but both Andorra and Finland are good alternatives to more expensive resorts in France, Austria and Switzerland.”

     

    Crystal Ski Holidays has seen demand return to pre-pandemic levels with families keen to get back to the slopes after being denied time on the mountains for so long.

     

    Chris Logan, Managing Director of Crystal Ski Holidays, comments: “Skiers and snowboarders have embraced the opportunity to take to the snow once again and families can look forward to taking their half term or Easter ski holiday with confidence.  The results of this report show improved value for skiers across Europe, with Bulgaria once again offering the lowest prices 3 .  There are still good late deals available so now’s the time to book.  And all our customers have the reassurance of our holiday promise, so if things change and they can’t, or don’t want to, travel for any reason, they can take advantage of free flexible amends.  Whilst it’s still important for people to understand entry requirements for the destination they are visiting, the season’s looking bright and the mountains are calling.”

     

    Echoing the pricing trends seen in the family ski survey, costs for ski school, lift passes, equipment, meals and drinks are down in two-thirds of the 32 ski resorts surveyed for adult skiing.

     

    Following the pattern of recent years, Bulgaria leads the table of best value ski resorts – with Borovets beating Bansko to the top spot for the third year running. Although prices have fallen in both resorts, the higher fall of 7.3 per cent in Borovets (£435) means that it has widened the gap with Bansko, where the overall barometer cost has dropped 5.1 per cent to £488.

     

    The six Italian resorts surveyed represent the best value for UK skiers among the ‘big four’ ski destinations of Austria, France, Italy and Switzerland.  With price falls in all six, the Italian resorts feature among the 12 best value resorts. The survey’s biggest price fall of 10.6 per cent has been in Bardonecchia (£495), which is rated the third cheapest overall.

     

    Prices in sixth-placed Morzine (£618) have fallen by 3.1 per cent, enabling the French resort to overtake Ellmau (£648) in the Austrian Tyrol, where costs have risen by 2.1 per cent.  These are the only resorts in France and Austria to make the best value top 10 because these countries account for most of the price rises this season.  Post Office Travel Money found year-on-year increases in five of nine French resorts and in five of the nine Austrian resorts surveyed.

     

    Although prices have also risen by 1.5 per cent in Soldeu (£638), the Andorran resort is eighth cheapest in the survey and remains one of the best value choices.  Similarly, Finland’s Ruka (£648) offers a good value alternative to more expensive Austrian and French resorts, taking 10 th place after recording a price fall of 7.6 per cent year-on-year.

     

    In common with the family report, Swiss resorts rate as the priciest of all with Wengen, Saas Fee and Zermatt each registering totals exceeding £1,000, albeit with small price falls in all three resorts. By comparison, prices have risen by 5.2 per cent in Kitzbühel (£881) and around one per cent in Val d’Isère (£980), making the French resort the most expensive in the eurozone.

     

    The Post Office is the UK’s leading foreign currency provider, offering around 60 currencies for pre-order at around 7,000 Post Office branches or online at www.postoffice.co.uk/travel for next day branch or home delivery.  3,600 larger Post Office branches stock the leading currencies and around 7,000 offer euros over the counter without pre-order.  These can also be ordered online for same day ‘click and collect’ at selected branches, next day collection at any branch or home delivery.

     

    For more information, please contact:

     

    Christine Ball             CBPR                                      01798 874177 / 07976 285997 cball@cballpr.co.uk

     

    Emma Hancock          Post Office Press Office                     07922 844352

    Emma.Hancock@postoffice.co.uk

     

    Karen Abrams            Crystal Ski karen.abrams@tui.co.uk

     

    Notes to Editors:

     

    ¹ The Post Office Travel Money Ski Resort Report was compiled using adult prices for one week (six active days) in 32 European resorts that are suitable for a range of skiing levels and 28 European resort suitable for families.  These were provided by Crystal Ski Holidays ( www.crystalski.co.uk ), the UK’s leading ski holiday specialist. Costs are based on mid-season pricing and entry level skis and boots. Ski school daily hours vary depending on the resort. Lunch prices are based on two courses (main course and dessert) excluding drinks. The items surveyed were:

     

    1. Ski lift pass for one week (6 days)
    2. Ski equipment for one week (6 days)
    3. Ski school tuition (5-6 days half-day lesson)
    4. Cup of coffee
    5. Bottle of Coca Cola
    6. Glass of house wine
    7. Bottle of beer
    8. Six lunches on the slopes

     

    Full details of prices for both adults and families are shown in the accompanying Post Office Ski Resort Report brochure.

     

    2 Prices for families are based on two adults and two children aged 6 and 8.

     

    3 Crystal Ski Holidays lead prices can be obtained by contacting karen.abrams@tui.co.uk