Eastern Europe ‘best value for skiing holiday’

Skiers and snowboarders are slashing their holiday budgets.

By Fusion Lifestyle Reporter
December 6, 2011, 3:57 pm

Skiers and snowboarders are slashing their holiday budgets this year, claims new research.

The findings reveal that only one in five people (20%) who have previously skied or snowboarded plan to go this winter and of those almost three quarters (73%) plan to reduce the cost of their holiday says Sainsbury’s Travel Money.

More than a quarter of those planning to hit the slopes this winter plan to take packed lunches instead of eating in mountain restaurants and 26% plan to stay in cheaper accommodation.

Nearly one in four (23%) say they’ll stay in a cheaper resort and almost one in five (19%) intend to go to a country where the cost of living and exchange rate lets their money go further.

Sainsbury’s Travel Money’s research reveals that 16% of those planning to hit the slopes this winter will borrow ski clothes and equipment instead of buying or hiring it, and one in ten (9%) will purchase cheaper ski clothes from department stores or second-hand shops.

Worryingly, 18% say they will not have ski lessons and 2% say they won’t take out travel insurance in order to save money.

David Barrett of Sainsbury’s Travel Money, said: “Skiing is an expensive sport and in a time of financial uncertainty it seems that many enthusiasts are being forced to either forgo their holiday or try to find ways of reducing the cost of their trip. Looking beyond the traditional ski destinations can provide a way of saving significant sums on a ski holiday. Skiers and snowboarders should also look to reduce the cost in other ways such as shopping around for the most competitive rates on their travel money and arrange it as far in advance as they can."

He added: "Whilst budgeting and finding the best deal is important, consumers planning a skiing holiday should not scrimp on travel insurance. Should the 2% not planning to take out travel insurance have an accident and hurt themselves, medical fees could far outweigh the savings they have made on the holiday itself."

Central and Eastern European resorts may provide the best value this winter, according to new research conducted across ski resorts in 18 different countries from traditional favourites such as France and Switzerland to remote spots in Lebanon, Bolivia and Afghanistan. Sainsbury’s Travel Money’s study of the cost of two adults going away for one week including flights, transfers, a three or four star hotel stay and lift passes, reveals that Bjelolasica in Croatia offers the best value of the resorts studied at £1,024(3). This is closely followed by Kranjska Gora in Slovenia at £1,204 and Bansko in Bulgaria at £1,261.

By contrast, Hokkaido in Japan in the most expensive of the destinations studied, at over £5,200 for a week’s stay. This is followed by £4,224 at Faraya in Lebanon (which itself means ‘snow’) and the more traditional destinations of Whistler in Canada (£3,807) and Vail in the US (£3,735).

For those with more adventurous tastes, for around £1,345 two adults could visit Oukaimeden in Morocco, Africa's highest ski resort where donkeys rather than shuttle buses wander back and forth between lifts. A relative bargain can also be found at the Mount Hermon Range in Israel, at £2,218 for the week, or even Bamiyan in Afghanistan at £2,308.

For £2,552 a couple could visit Ski Dubai, an indoor ski resort with 22,500 square metres of slopes and part of one of the largest shopping malls in the world. Although artificial, this option is much more snow-sure than Chacaltaya's glacier in Bolivia, which since 2009 has been restricted to a 600-foot stretch that sometimes has sufficient snowfall for skiing. To visit there for a week it would cost in the region of £3,000.

Those who prefer staying closer to home could visit Aviemore, one of the first ski resorts to be established in Scotland, though it could still cost upward of £2,100 for two people for a week for those flying from London.

Sainsbury’s Travel Money offers a range of benefits including Travellers' Cheques and the Cash Passport™ prepaid currency card. In addition, free next-day delivery to your billing address on foreign currency, if ordered before 2pm Monday to Thursday, is available for orders over £500.

Add a Comment