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Snow searchers warned of steep costs

Winter sports enthusiasts have been warned of the potentially higher costs at destinations where snow is 'guaranteed'.

Skiers and snowboarders who head to high-altitude resorts where good snow conditions are thought to be guaranteed have been warned of the potential medical costs at such destinations.

High-altitude winter sports locations in Canada, the USA, Japan, Russia and Chile are expected to be among the top ski destinations for the 2007-08 season, according to American Express.

However such resorts are some of the most expensive in the world for medical costs, making travel insurance essential, the company said.

Joanne Field, marketing manager for American Express Travel Insurance, said: "The traditional lower altitude European resorts have suffered from poor snow conditions recently. We are seeing more and more skiers and snowboarders travelling further afield to higher resorts to ensure good snow conditions.

"With more than a million Britons skiing each year and with one in ten suffering an injury on the slopes, good quality insurance will be vital for destinations like the USA and Japan where a hospital room can cost over $10,000 (£4,830) per day."

Broken limbs are among the top five injuries that skiers and snowboarders can sustain, according to American Express, and the cost of medical treatment can vary greatly between countries.

Travel Insurance - Holiday Extras insured over 750,000 people last year and were voted BEST Insurance provider and BEST website by the travel trade.