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Bansko regains top spot for cheapest family skiing but Italian resorts rate as best value overall

Press release   •   Oct 14, 2019 16:32 BST

Bulgaria’s Bansko is cheapest for family skiing

Bansko regains top spot for cheapest family skiing but Italian resorts rate as best value overall

Bulgaria’s Bansko is cheapest for family skiing out of 25 ski resorts surveyed

Italy trumps Austria, France and Switzerland to take four of the top five places in the Family Ski Resort Report (www.postoffice.co.uk/familyskiing)

Prices have fallen in six of the most popular European resorts – but families can expect to pay over 10 per cent more in Grindelwald and Kranjska Gora

Families planning a ski holiday this winter will find the cheapest prices in Bansko, according to the latest Post Office Travel Money Family Ski Resort Report¹, producedin partnership with leading tour operator Crystal Ski Holidays. The report found that prices have dropped since last season, making the Bulgarian resort best value by far of the 25 European ski resorts surveyed – nine of these included for the first time.

At £1,530 for one week’s ski resort costs, Bansko has overtaken last year’s survey leader Bardonecchia (£1,622) to regain its place as the best value for a pound-stretching ski holiday. Prices have dropped by 0.3 per cent in Bansko but a 9.8 per cent rise in the Italian resort means a family of four can expect to pay nearly £100 less in the Bulgarian resort than in Bardonecchia, the 2019 runner-up.

However, Italy emerges as this year’s best value country when it comes to the wide choice of low-priced ski resorts it offers. Bardonecchia is one of four Italian resorts that dominate the top places in the Family Ski Resort Report. Two of these - Passo Tonale (£1,736 4th) and Claviere (£1,759, 5th) – have been included for the first time and join Bardonecchia and Sestriere (£1,725 3rd) in the best value top five. La Thuile (£2,075, 10th) also features in the top 10.

Nick Boden, Head of Post Office Travel Money, said: “While Bansko offers unbeatable value overall for families on a tight budget, resorts in the Italian Alps are a great choice for a pound-stretching ski holiday. With few exceptions, we found that Italian ski resorts were cheaper than in Austria, France or Switzerland.

“It is also worth noting that some ski essentials are cheaper in Italian resorts than in Bansko. For example, a week’s family ski lift pass costs less in Bardonecchia, Sestriere and Claviere, while

ski and boot hire is cheaper in Passo Tonale. It all depends what you need to pay out for.”

While two Austrian ski resorts – Ellmau (£1,858, 7th) and Rauris (£1,943, 8th) – join Arinsal, Andorra (£1969, 9th) in the best value top 10, none of the seven French resorts surveyed have made it into the leading 10 resorts. Tigne, surveyed for the first time, was most expensive of the seven new additions at £2,547, while Morzine (£2,089) was highest-placed in 11th position and benefited from a four per cent price fall. It was one of six resorts surveyed this year where prices have fallen:

1.Ruka, Finland -4.3%

2.Morzine, France -4.0%

3.Les Deux Alpes, France -2.2%

4.Saas Fee, Switzerland -0.8%

5.Cervinia, Italy -0.3%

6.Bansko, Bulgaria -0.3%

Although there have been year-on-year price rises in 10 resorts, only two saw percentage increases in double digits. Prices have risen by 11 per cent in Grindelwald (£2,773, 23rd), while Kranjska Gora (£1,830), previously rated cheapest in the 2016 Family Ski Resort Report, has fallen to sixth place this season after registering the biggest increase of 11.8 per cent. This is because tuition costs in the Slovenian resort have been very low in the past but have risen from £355 last year to £527 after ski school hours were extended from two to three hours.

The most expensive ski resorts proved to be Kitzbühel (£2,817, 24th) and Saas Fee (£2,902, 25th), with prices close to twice as high as in Bansko.

Nick Boden said: “Families planning to take a ski holiday are most likely to do so in the school holidays at Christmas or half term so now is the time when they will be choosing where to ski. With price falls in some resorts and limited increases in others, it will pay to do some homework before booking to find the best value and it is also worth considering whether to switch to cheaper options in Italy and Eastern Europe. Another money-saving option could be to avoid half term and plan an Easter break instead.

“With continuing uncertainty about sterling’s value, we advise parents to monitor exchange rate movements carefully before changing money and to be sure to do so before leaving home to avoid getting poor rates at the airport or incurring charges at ATMs abroad. If you are travelling to a eurozone ski resort, consider putting money onto a pre-paid card like the Post Office Travel Money Card at times when the sterling exchange rate strengthens.”

Featuring resorts recommended by Crystal as most suitable for family skiing, the Post Office Family Ski Resort Report compares the cost of six days’ ski and boot hire, lift passes and ski school plus lunch and drinks for two adults and two children for the same number of days to give a realistic view of what it will cost a family of four on a one week holiday.

Commenting on the findings of this year’s Post Office Family Ski Resort Report, Crystal Ski Holidays says Italy is a family favourite destination, thanks to the family friendly resorts and variety on offer.

Chris Logan, Crystal Ski Holidays Managing Director, said: “It is no surprise to see Bansko take the number one spot. The resort has been offering great value skiing for families for many seasons. Italy has also dominated this year’s results when it comes to great value family ski holidays. Four out of the top five resorts in this year’s findings are in Italy showing there is real value in the destination.

“We are always looking at offering the very best to our customers and this year we will be opening a new Crystal Childcare Club in La Thuile, Italy. Families can now get the fantastic Crystal service staying in a great value for money resort. As we approach the start of the season, the report will hopefully give families some ideas as to where they can book this winter’s ski holiday.”

Skiers can purchase euros over the counter at more than 9,000 Post Office branches. They can also be ordered online at postoffice.co.uk for same day ‘click and collect’ at almost 3,000 branches as well as next day collection at any branch or for home delivery. Swiss francs and Bulgarian lev are available immediately at over 1,600 branches or for pre-order in over 11,500 Post Office branches or online. A range of travel insurance policies suitable for ski trips are also available at Post Office branches or online at postoffice.co.uk

Ends

For more information, please contact:

Joanne Leahy Post Office Press Office 07791 894469

Joanne.Leahy@postoffice.co.uk

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

Notes to Editors:

¹ The Post Office Travel Money Family Ski Resort Report was compiled using prices for one week (six active days) in 25 European resorts that are suitable for a range of skiing levels. 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. A full breakdown of prices is published in the Post Office Travel Money Ski Resort Report tables. All prices are based on the Post Office exchange rates on 3 October 2019 and are rounded up or down to the nearest whole number.

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