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Andorra Set For Recession Busting Ski Season

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Nearly six foot of snow before Christmas encouraged skiers in Europe to hit the slopes and forget their financial woes - much to the relief of the ski holiday industry.

And the good news for ski country Andorra comes as two of her resorts have been named in a leading ski internet site's top ten - something which might help Andorra win a bigger share of the European ski market this year.

The skiing holidays site suggests nearly a million Brits alone will be hitting the slopes this winter, but with the economic recession other leading travel ski holiday internet sites think this figure will be revised down.

The good news for the Andorra resorts comes firstly because of Arinsal.

Arinsal topped the poll and won because, with some sixty per cent of British skiers fitting in the novice category, the Andorra ski holidays resort is perfect for them. Away from top class skiers, the whole village atmosphere makes for happy new skiers - and happy new skiers are likely to continue skiing in future years, boosting the ski holidays industry not just in Andorra but with other resorts too.

As well as friendly ski slopes, Arinsal has a good mix of accommodation. Hotels are from hostel standard to four and five star luxury, while there is self catering too with aparthotels, privately available apartments by the week, and the occasional chalet too. Arinsal offers ski instruction in either groups or on an individual basis from novice to advanced, to complete the skiing holidays in Andorra scene.

The second piece of good news for Andorra is that a second resort also makes the ski holidays travel sites' top ten - an accolade in itself.

They place Pas de la Casa at number four of its top ten ski holiday areas and praise the Andorra resort for its low prices, adding 'The happy hours, discos, lively cafes and restaurants also give the Andorran resort of Pas de la Casa its reputation as one of the liveliest resorts in the mountains.'

Pas de la Casa is Andorra's highest ski resort, and consequently has the earliest and deepest snow, with well known Soldeu at a slightly lower altitude.

Andorra started to develop her ski resorts for tourists back in the 1980's. For the first decade Andorra decided to go for the budget skier, and was able to provide ski holidays at a lot less cost than neighbouring France, and other ski countries in Europe including Austria and Switzerland.

But now Andorra has moved away from the image of the poor man's Switzerland for skiing to one that is pretty upmarket, with ski resorts such as Soldeu, Arinsal, Pal and Pas de la Casa attracting serious skiers to her slopes in addition to novices. In Soldeu for example there is a good choice of Andorra hotels, including four and five star ones, while spa hotels are dotted around the country.

And while the skiing fraternity might be a bit more upmarket with money to match, so are the new residents who move to Andorra to live there full time and take up residency in Andorra.

While Andorra property averaged between three and hundred thousand Euros a few years ago to new residents, the average now is closer to double that. Not because Andorra has seen her property prices rise that much necessarily, although it is true to say it has risen close to fifty per cent in the three years preceeding the existent worldwide recession, but because more and more people are choosing Andorra over Monaco as a tax haven.

Andorra might be a small country, but it might fare better than the big ones for 2009 in the existent recession.

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