Snow falls in the Alps – and so does the value of sterling
Since Post Office Travel Money published its annual Ski Resort Report at the beginning of December, the UK pound has fallen in value by over 10 per cent against the euro and Bulgarian lev and by nine per cent against the Swiss franc. This means that although skiers can still expect to find prices lower than a year ago in two-thirds of the 20 European resorts surveyed, they could pay as much as £66 more per person for ski essentials, meals and drinks on a one week trip than two months ago (Zermatt).
Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money said: “The trick for skiers will be to do their homework and not only research snow levels but also check resort prices for ski equipment, lift passes, tuition and living costs. There has been significant snowfall in Switzerland but prices are higher than in French resorts, where ski conditions are also improving. Our research found that prices are over 50 per cent higher in some top Swiss resorts than in French ones.”
Resort research conducted by Post Office Travel Money ski partner Crystal Ski Holidays shows that in France the cost of skiing together with meals and drinks comes to £504 in Courchevel, while skiers can expect to pay £273 more for the same items in the Swiss resort of Zermatt (£765) – 54 per cent extra. The same applies to two other world-class ski resorts. In Val d’Isère, France the ski costs add up to £513 but in Wengen, Switzerland, they will cost £654 – 27 per cent more.
At the budget end of the market, snow has fallen in Bansko and the Bulgarian resort remains the cheapest option for bargain-hunters. At £260, ski costs are 40 per cent cheaper than in La Thuile (£432), one of the few Italian resorts to have seen reasonable levels of snowfall to date.
This season’s biggest price fall has been in Kitzbühel (£513). Despite the recent fall in sterling value, prices are down five per cent year-on-year and piste conditions are described as good with more snow forecast in the Austrian resort.
Vicky Hales, Customer Engagement Director Crystal Ski Holidays: “With the end of the season not far away, we’ve seen a rush of bookings in the last few weeks as many skiers snap up late deals to secure their place on the snow. With sterling sliding downhill and resort prices benefitting, the value for money snowboarders and skiers can get this year really is superb.”
Skiers can purchase euro over the counter at more than 10,000 Post Office branches. Currencies for other Ski Resort Report destinations, including the Swiss franc and Bulgarian lev, are available on demand at over 1,600 branches. More than 70 currencies can be pre-ordered at over 11,500 Post Office branches or online at postoffice.co.uk for next day branch or home delivery, where a range of travel insurance policies suitable for ski trips are available.
¹ The Post Office Ski Resort Report was compiled using prices for 20 resorts in Europe, 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.