Ski Holiday Prices On A Hike

by : Roger Munns

Research in the ski industry shows a surprise rise in the typical price of a skiing holiday this year.

The surprise report shows that the price of a typical ski holiday for the 2008 ski season rose everywhere in both Europe and Noth America - except for Germany and the United States - with Canadian ski holidays rising in price fastest as a direct result of the strong Canadian dollar against the Euro and British sterling.

Pushing prices up for the 2008 skiing season were not just higher aviation fuel costs and government levied flight taxes, but lift passes, equipment hire and ski instructor lessons all rose faster than inflation.

Comparing different ski resorts striking differences emerge with ski lift passes costing 90 sterling in Bulgaria and Romania - but over 240 sterling in Banff, Canada - nearly treble the cost.

And private ski lessons also showed great price differentials. Some ski resorts in Romania were offering lessons for 11 sterling this year, in Switzerland 35, but in Banff it went up to 65 sterling, nearly six times the cost of their Romanian counterparts.

Once the skiing is over for the day the price differences were still as sharp for skiiers this year. While a cup of coffee in Italy is around one Euro, in Norway it is nearer to three, and for those who prefer alcohol a beer in Bulgaria is a pound, but astonishingly over five pounds in Norway - and the cost of a meal shows similar price differentials.

Commenting upon the report, an Andorra travel guide who include ski holidays information comments that 'The difference in prices between different resorts is surprising. We would expect some regional and local variance but not to the extent we saw for the 2008 ski season in Europe and North America.'

The lower priced ski countries could see an upswing in visitors in 2009 - much needed after a poor 2007 season in countries like Austria and Andorra, both of which recovered well this year but could do with a good second year in a row. Both countries are investing in their ski infrastructure and benefitting too from low cost airlines offering more flights to skiiers.

Several airlines recently announced a plan to encourage more trips to ski resorts by opening up additional routes for travel to European ski resorts.

These fly passengers directly to the airports that are closest to several of the major skiing destinations for many individuals and families on holiday. For example, the UK's biggest low cost airline flies passengers on holiday into Barcelona, which is the nearest airport to the Andorra skiing resorts.

In addition to the flights taking passengers to ski at Andorra, there are several more flights connecting skiiers to their favourite ski destinations. Flights from London, Glasgow, Bristol, Liverpool, Blackpool and Newscastle all connect UK ski holidaymakers to their favourite ski resorts.

The reason airlines have chosen to increase the number of direct routes they provide to ski resorts for the 2008 and 2009 winter holiday periods is due to the fact business is booming. As of the end of October last year for example, one airline had over 2.5 million bookings for individuals and families wanting their flying services to travel to skiing destinations in Europe during this winter, and 2009 could see even more people taking a ski holiday.