Ski Resort Report 2016

  • Eastern Europe again offers best winter sports value
  • Italy cheapest of ‘Big Four’ destinations
  • Slovenia (Kranjska Gora) home to the cheapest family skiing

Family skiing costs least in Kranjska Gora

  • Kranjska Gora in Slovenia overtakes Bansko for the first time in 10 years to become best value in the new Family Ski Resort Report.
  • Early snowfall boosts bookings for Sestriere  and Mayrhofen as local price falls help reduce the impact of a weaker pound.
  • French and Swiss resorts struggle to compete with Austria and Italy on price.

For the first time in its ten-year history, research for the Post Office Travel Money Family Ski Resort Report has revealed that Kranjska Gora is now the cheapest of 16 ski resorts across Europe – overtaking long-time leader Bansko¹.  The Slovenian resort was one of six surveyed where prices in the local currencies have slid downhill to reduce the impact of sterling’s fall in value on families planning ski holidays this winter.

Featuring European resorts recommended as most suitable for family skiing by Crystal Ski Holidays, who conducted the research in partnership with Post Office Travel Money , the report compared the cost of six days’ ski and boot hire, lift passes and ski school, together with a sample price for lunch on the slopes and a range of drinks for two adults and two children. 

At a total cost of £1,071 for the basket of goods, Kranjska Gora was easily the cheapest resort surveyed.  Local euro-based prices have fallen five per cent since last season – in part due to discount offers on equipment hire.  This means the weaker pound will have less of an impact than in many other resorts surveyed, where half of those surveyed saw year-on-year rises exceeding 25%.

The low cost of family ski tuition was a key factor in helping Kranjska Gora to overtake Bansko. Its £340 price tag for six sessions was almost £200 lower than in the Bulgarian resort. 

Ski school prices are also around 25%lower in third-placed Livigno than in Bansko which has helped the Italian resort (barometer basket: £1,197) to close the overall gap between them to around £46 from £100 last year. 

Another Italian resort, Sestriere (£1,288), is catching up on the survey leaders because local prices have dropped 12 per cent since last season - primarily because of reductions in the cost of lift passes and ski school.  After the exchange rate was applied, the Post Office found the overall price increase of 6.9% to be the lowest by far across the 16 resorts.

According to Crystal, reports of early snowfall have made Sestriere one of its bestsellers this season and the same applies to Mayrhofen (£1,509).  The Austrian resort was another of those surveyed to reveal a fall, albeit small (-2.3%), in local prices.

The French and Swiss resorts surveyed struggled to compete on price with Italian and Austrian ones (excluding Kitzbühel). None of the three French resorts surveyed (Morzine, Serre Chevalier and Les Deux Alpes) made it into the top half of this year’s Family Ski Resort Report league table.  Morzine (£1,572) was best placed in 10th position (down from 6th a year ago).  And when the weaker exchange rate is added to local rises of between 10%-14% cent in French resorts, it means UK skiers can expect to pay 33%-39% more than a year ago. 

Ski Resorts comparison tables

European ski resort price comparison table including Italy and Bulgaria

European ski resort price comparison table including France, Italy and Austria

European ski resort price comparison table including Switzerland, Austria and France

Source: Post Office - Data relates to internet rates for exchange of £500-£999 in early December 2016. The Post Office Family Ski Resort Report was compiled using prices for 16 resorts suitable for families in Europe, provided by Crystal Ski Holidays, 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.

 

Cash-conscious skiers can still get great value on this year’s winter sports holiday despite the weaker pound according to the annual Ski Resort Report from Post Office Travel Money produced with the help of Crystal Ski Holidays.

This year’s report reveals that Eastern Europe resorts will offer bargain hunters the cheapest skiing but it also shows that traditional favourites in Italy come close to matching their prices.

Key findings include:

  • Bansko in Bulgaria remains the cheapest of 20 European resorts surveyed for the seventh year running and has pulled well ahead of Kranjska Gora in Slovenia, where prices are up 20 per cent on last season.
     
  • World-class Sestriere, which hosted the 2006 Winter Olympics, is now in third place. The Italian resort is just five per cent more expensive than Kranjska Gora as a result of an 11 per cent local fall in the cost of ski passes, equipment and tuition.
     
  • Italy is by far the cheapest of the ‘Big Four’ ski destinations – which also include Austria, France and Switzerland. This is because local prices have either fallen or stayed level with 2015 in the four Italian resorts surveyed, minimising the impact of the weaker pound.
     
  • Those skiers planning transatlantic trips to the USA or Canada can expect to pay significantly more this winter. Banff in the Canadian Rocky Mountains is the cheapest option of six resorts surveyed, thanks to local price-pegging. Elsewhere, a combination of price rises for lift passes and tuition and the fall in sterling’s value mean that the overall cost to UK holidaymakers in North American resorts is at least 25 per cent higher than a year ago.

Skiers can purchase euros over the counter at more than 10,000 Post Office branches. Currencies for other Ski Resort Report destinations, including the Swiss franc, Canadian dollar and Bulgarian lev are available immediately at over 1,600 branches, while an additional 2,400 stock US dollars. euros and US dollars 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. A range of travel insurance policies suitable for ski trips are also available at Post Office branches or online.

European Ski Resorts

European ski resort price comparison table including Italy and Bulgaria

European ski resort price comparison table including France, Italy and Austria

European ski resort price comparison table including Switzerland, Austria and France

Post Office Ski Resort Report 2016

North American Ski Resorts

North American ski resort price comparison table including Canada and USA

Post Office Ski Resort Report 2016

Source: Post Office.: Data relates to internet rates for exchange of £500-£999 in late September 2016.
The Post Office Ski Resort Report was compiled using prices for 26 resorts in Europe and North America, provided by Crystal Ski Holidays, 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.