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
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.