The 2014–15 ski season brochures are out, and we now know many of the new destination choices tour operators are offering for the upcoming season.
With the economy officially back to pre-recession levels, the pound riding high (well, higher than it has been), and sales up, the British ski travel trade is in optimistic mood.
And along with the exciting new option of South Korea (see separate report), there are dozens of new resorts to try in more familiar countries.
There are some interesting new destinations to try in the country that’s our second most popular for ski holidays.
Inghams (inghams.co.uk) has four new choices, including Oberperfuss above Innsbruck, which they describe as “a dedicated learn-to-ski/-snowboard resort”; Bad Kleinkirchheim, home of Franz Klammer; and some serious spa culture down in the southwest of the country near Slovenia and Italy. We’ll have a full report on Bad Kleinkirchheim in the October edition of InTheSnow.
Erna Low (ernalow.co.uk) is also adding small family-friendly resorts close to Ischgl, Kappl, Galtur, and See to its programme.
Like the economy, Finland is almost back to where it was 6 years ago. It was the most obvious victim of the 2008 financial crisis, with most ski holiday operators dropping the majority of Finnish destinations, from a peak of ten in the preceding season to the economy meltdown. Gradually, destinations are being reintroduced by the top tour operators, and this winter you’ll be able to return to Salla with Crystal (crystalski.co.uk), taking the list of destinations back up to seven.
With France already our most popular destination, attracting a large number of operators who already cover most areas, it’s hard to add many new choices.
However, award-winning French specialist Peak Retreats has managed to find some, and the villages of Albiez, Doucy, La Norma, Chamrousse, and La Toussuire have been newly-added for 2014–15. Chamrousse is one of the easiest resorts to reach in France, the 1968 Winter Olympics venue is very close to Grenoble, and La Toussuire is part of the giant, but less well known Sybelles region.
Peak Retreats has also created a whole new business, Pyrenees Collection (pyreneescollection.co.uk) to focus on French Pyrenean resorts.
In addition, Crystal is joining smaller companies already based in France, and moving into the niche resort of Sainte Foy, between Les Arcs and Val d’Isère.
Neilson (neilson.co.uk/ski) has added the resorts of San Candido and Versciaco for the coming winter.
The two villages are located about 129km from Innsbruck, situated in the Hochpustertal area of the South Tyrol, which is included on the giant Dolomiti Superski lift pass.
New choices from Inghams are Kronplatz and San Cassiano, which are also in the Dolomites – the company now offer ten resorts in this region.
Crystal is also adding Kronplatz and San Vigilio; the former is an exciting choice as it has received lots of recent investment resulting in a modern resort with new state-of-the-art lifts.
Inghams, again, has added the classic resort of Arosa, which we featured last season after it was linked by a spectacular cable car to Lenzerheide, thus creating one of the biggest new ski areas in Switzerland, and the world, with 225km of runs. Take it from us, it’s well worth a visit!