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Eastern Europe cheapest for skiing

Skiers struggling to stretch their budget this season should be heading to Romania, according to new research from the Post Office.

The 2009/10 Post Office Ski Resort Report reveals that ski areas in Eastern Europe, led by Romania and Bulgaria, offer the best value for UK skiers right now.

At just £195.76 for ski holiday essentials including equipment hire, lift passes, meals and drinks, Romania’s Poiana Brasov ski resort emerged as the cheapest destination for UK skiers, aided by the stable sterling exchange rate against the Romanian leu and cheap resort costs.

But the research also highlights an 11% year-on-year drop in prices (to £372.83) at Vail, Colorado, as American resorts struggle to fill beds. And even the ever-popular French resort of Courchevel will be 11 % cheaper for UK skiers this season than a year ago.

Banff in Canada emerged as the most expensive resort in the survey at £429.06, with Verbier, Switzerland (£422.21) the highest-priced European ski destination.

The weak pound has affected prices in most resorts surveyed for the Post Office report, resulting in double digit percentage rises for nine of the 14 destinations.

Post Office head of travel services, Sarah Munro, said: “It is worth comparing the prices of ski equipment hire and lift passes in different resorts as these can make a big difference to the overall cost of a ski holiday. French ski resorts have responded well to the pressures imposed by the strong euro by slashing prices and Courchevel now rates as one of the cheapest eurozone ski destinations as a direct result.”

“While bargain hunters will still find the lowest prices in Romania and Bulgaria, price should not be the only issue when planning a ski holiday. It’s important to choose a resort that matches your ability and expectations. Challenging ski runs and sophisticated resort facilities may matter to experienced skiers, but families may be more bothered about sticking to a budget than finding black runs.”

The Ski Resort Report researched the costs of lift passes and equipment hire plus meal and drinks prices in 14 ski destinations across Europe and North America – both for individuals and families. Foreign currency for all the destinations covered in the Ski Resort Report is available at the Post Office.

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Written by: Maxine Clarke, October 14, 2009