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I failed, will never work

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Finished all my costing for my ski company, based in switzerland. I had new zealand's two big travel companies, Air NZ travel, and Flight center, ask me to put a ski package together for switzerland. They wanted it to be competitive with their current ski packages to USA/Canada/Japan. They said they don't know much about skiing in europe, and as such send most their clients to Japan, Canada or USA.


Well, switzerland is just too expensive, here's an example of the difference

 

Example 1, trip to Japan

Ski Japan - $2049 NZD/person, 14 nights

  • - Meet and greet at Narita Airport
  • - Coach transfers Narita Airport to Hakuba
  • - 7 nights accommodation at first resort
  • - Hot breakfast for each morning of your stay in Hakuba
  • - 5 day multi-resort lift pass valid at: Happo One, Hakuba 47, Hakuba Goryu, Iwatake, Tsugaike & Cortina
  • - 3 nightly events including Sushi Making Japanese dinner (local ¥ payment required)
  • - Host available for 1 hour each night
  • - Private transfer Hakuba to Nozawa Onsen hotel
  • - 7 nights share room accommodation at Lodge Nagano* in Nozawa Onsen
  • - Continental breakfast each day in Nozawa Onsen
  • - 5 days lift pass for Nozawa Onsen
  • - Tour info pack including Tokyo sightseeing maps and recommendations
  • - Discount vouchers and promotional products
  • - Walking distance to lift

 

 

My Prices are, and these are the cheapest I can find, that offer a modest level of accomodation and food:

10 nights accomodation, with breakfast, excluding dinner 1800 NZD

Ski Pass Portes du Soleil - 9 day ski pass 800 NZD

Daily transport to chairlift and airport transfers (6 minute drive)- 180NZD

Evening dinners - 35 NZD/night 10 nights = 350NZD

Tourist tax - 5NZD/day = 50NZD

Total, 3150chf

This is an absolute minimum, and there are more costs involved that I haven't included, but these are the main ones.

 

There are even cheaper, and better priced trips to USA/Canada. My whole package hasn't even included a 20% add-on for me to actually make some money. I can't get ski/out as it's nearly double the price. Other, cheaper packages to USA/Japan include stays at 5 star hotels, ski in/out.

 

I'm going to bitch about switzerland briefly - The swiss franc is at record highs, yet prices have not gone down one bit, in fact they've gone up. I often find things made in switzerland, but sold in USA, cheaper in the USA. I've spoken to many ski resorts, to try and get a 5 day flexipass ie a pass you can use for any five days of your 10 day stay. Not one of them would give me this option. Portes du Soleil has a 9 day flexi pass, but would not budge an inch. Switzerland does have the worst service in the world. They don't really seem interested in making a sale. I went to two shops and they had identical products, one shop had the ski jacket $40 cheaper, and when I said this to the higher priced shop, they shrugged their shoulders and told me to go to the other shop to buy it there then.

 

Anyway, what I originally wanted to do was plan a ten day ski package to switzerland, based in portes du soleil. The plan was to ski PDS for 5 days, and to 4 day trips to the following places, chamonix, zermatt, vervier and crans montana. But the cost of switzerland makes this fucking impossible. The costs were now getting upt to 4000-5000 NZD/person, and we haven't even included evening meals.

 

I'm not looking forward to contacting Air NZ travel center and Flight center again and telling them I can't find a competitive ski package to switzerland. But you know what, anywhere else they'd get better snow, more for their money, and have just as much, if not more fun. My recommendation, go to Japan, USA, Canada.

PS I've spent the last year researching this, contacting dozens of people, and switzerland is just too expensive.

 

 

 

post #2 of 12

Not sure if you are looking for a reply, but I'll throw in my 2 cents based on a number of visits, but no skiing in Switzerland- there are many things I like about the place, but PRICE IS NOT ONE OF THEM and I haven't been there since the surge in the S Franc.

 

I think Euro skiing does offer a (somewhat) different type of experience, but given the current prices, I would tend to look at Austria, France or Italy before Switzerland.  

 

Regarding the failure to match price, I have encountered the same type of illogical, anti-business response many places when dealing with a front line worker, but less when dealing with the owner.  The most comical is when I have used a hotel's lobby computer to book a room at that hotel on a 3rd party website because the front desk would not match the rate.

post #3 of 12

Zermatt last spring, won't go back, way to expensive, they even charge 60 cents for litte packets of mustard and mayo. Also had a 35 chf hamburger. Give me a break. St. Moritz is  even worse.

post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree30 View Post

Regarding the failure to match price, I have encountered the same type of illogical, anti-business response many places when dealing with a front line worker, but less when dealing with the owner.  The most comical is when I have used a hotel's lobby computer to book a room at that hotel on a 3rd party website because the front desk would not match the rate.



beercheer.gif

 

post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiingaround View Post


I'm going to bitch about switzerland briefly - The swiss franc is at record highs, yet prices have not gone down one bit, in fact they've gone up. I often find things made in switzerland, but sold in USA, cheaper in the USA. I've spoken to many ski resorts, to try and get a 5 day flexipass ie a pass you can use for any five days of your 10 day stay. Not one of them would give me this option. Portes du Soleil has a 9 day flexi pass, but would not budge an inch. Switzerland does have the worst service in the world. They don't really seem interested in making a sale. I went to two shops and they had identical products, one shop had the ski jacket $40 cheaper, and when I said this to the higher priced shop, they shrugged their shoulders and told me to go to the other shop to buy it there then.



On the plus side,  if Germany leaves the euro, prices in France and Italy  for NZD shoppers should get quite a bit better.

post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 

It's even more frustrating when I had a really great idea which you don't find in other ski companies in europe do. If you're coming, 30 plus hours from nz, you won't come for just one week, you'll come for 10days for more. 10 days is a lot so spend in one place, so my idea of four day trips during your 10 day stay to the famous ski resorts in switzerland, is great. But switzerland fucks it again.

post #7 of 12

Hear your frustration loud and clear. 

 

For skiers from down under (Australia and New Zealand); the best out of season (i.e. our season) skiing options excluding the logistics of travel are currently:

 

1. Japan, especially Niseko and more recently Hakuba;

2. USA, especially the Tahoe area,

3. Canada, especially Whistler

 

Our currencies have held up quite well against the USD and JPY making both attractive options.

 

Also, advice from people working the local Japanese tourist boards is that Japan has been suffering from falling local patronage, so they have been very keen to encourage inbound tourism.  Hakuba in particular has a glut of infrastructure following the Nagano Olympics which is now being utilised to attract inbound tourists with very favourable accomodation rates.

 

Our biggest problem though is travel disances.  It is an easy 12-13 hour direct flight from Sydney to Tokyo, Los Angeles or San Francisco (Vancouver is 15 hours). Hop on a plane in the afternoon and be skiing the next afternoon.  And flights can be had fairly cheaply (by our standards anyway), Sydney to LA/SF from around AUD 1,500 and Japan usually a little cheaper.

 

By contrast, Europe is a 25 hour plane journey to a major hub (London is usually direct, other distinations usually require a change of flight in for example Singapore) and costs are usually higher - AUD 2,000 or more.

 

I love Europe and have just got back from a trip to Scotland, France and Italy, but I haven't skiied in Europe in 30 years.  By contrast, over the past five years I've skied in Japan, Kashmir and the USA (4 times) and well as skiing in our season in both Australia and New Zealand.

 

In 2013 I will ski in Europe and Zermatt is on the radar because it is an iconic location.  I also know I won't have much change out of AUD 20,000 for a three week trip (for 2), whereas my trip to Tahoe in March 2012 for almost three weeks (just me) will cost less than AUD 5,000.

 

Double the cost or half the skiing; that's skiing in Switzerland for a tourist.

post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 

I'm going to take one more look at a possible option. I have one place lined up, in Portes du Soleil, but it's truly luxurious. I'll put a top end package together, and see if anyone wants a great trip, at a huge price.

post #9 of 12

I have a pretty good idea of what that Japan package involves. It certainly is a good deal, but is basically backpacker accommodation which would cost about $NZ60/night if you booked yourself, and this package doesnt seem to give you much of a discount (if any) on that. It also packages up a lot of things that are of no cost to the operator. 

 

You need to compare apples with apples. If you have something of a higher standard, you need to market it appropriately. Don't fall into the trap of competing on price just to stand out. I think if people are going all the way to Europe they would be prepared to pay a little more, and not skint just to try and get something that is cheaper than Japan.

 

Another option would be just to get your own website going and sell it direct.

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

actually the 9 day luxury package, staying at a 5star hotel is $3039 dollars, all inclusive. That's unbeatable out here. I have a meeting this wednesday with the owner of a luxury chalet in Champery. Will put a package together and see what happens.

The reason I'm presenting this to the travel companies is that this is another source of potential customers, as well as my own website. It will be interesting to see if there is enough interest in the upper end of the market.

post #11 of 12

Good luck.  Switzerland has many wonderful qualities, but 'low cost of living' is not among them, especially with current exchange rates.

post #12 of 12

I think the luxury option comes to $160pp for accommodation only. So thats $320/night for a 5 star room. I don't know how "5 star" it actually would be. I also have no idea what Switzerland is like so can't comment on anything as a comparison, just thought I'd help to break it down as I know lift ticket prices etc.

 

Unrelated, but considering they are about to start printing Euros, I can't imagine the swiss franc is going to weaken at all, whereas resorts in France and Italy are probably about to get a lot cheaper. Look at it this way - if you can get something going now when conditions are most difficult, you will do really well when things get a bit easier.

 

 

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