Tight holiday budgets are leading British skiers to shun traditional favourites in the Alps for lower-cost ski resorts in Central and Eastern Europe this winter, according to travel-search site Skyscanner.
Skyscanner says it has seen a 154-per-cent rise in searches for winter flights from the UK to cities east of the Alps, compared with last year. The most popular eastern ski hubs are Kraków in Poland, Sofia in Bulgaria, Bratislava in Slovakia and Ljubljana in Slovenia.
The trends reflect the search for better-value skiing this winter in light of the UK recession and strong Euro, says Skyscanner.
Further evidence for the trend comes from a recent Skyscanner poll which asked skiers and snowboarders whether they would be taking a ski trip this winter; 57 per cent replied that they would, but of those respondents, 65 per cent said they would be heading for a cheaper option than usual.
“With an après ski pint now costing close to ₤8 in some French resorts, many skiers and snowboarders are looking for cheaper options this year. Eastern Europe has suffered from a stigma ― some people imagine it to be all concrete communist blocks and dodgy food ― but that’s completely inaccurate,” says Sam Baldwin, Skyscanner travel editor and ski expert.
“Whilst it’s true that most resorts in Eastern and Central Europe are smaller than large interlinked areas in France or Austria, they do offer plenty of great skiing in attractive alpine towns, excellent value and an interesting cultural experience,” says Baldwin.
Skyscanner is a travel search site based in Edinburgh, Scotland, providing instant online comparison on flight prices for more than 670,000 routes on over 600 airlines, as well as car hire, hotel and holiday price comparison. Skyscanner is available in 20 different languages including French, German and Spanish.