Having spent tens of millions of Euros on new and improved facilities for skiiers, European country Andorra was looking forward to a good 2007 season, increasing the near ten million tourists that have been visiting in previous years.
But the one thing the country really needs to entice ski tourists hasn’t been coming – snow.
Over the last decade Andorra has been blessed with an abundance of snow, making for perfect ski conditions. But while the snow has started falling as early as the last week of October in previous years, none has fallen so far for the 2007 ski holiday season.
‘The snow making machines have been working overtime since the beginning of the season’, comment a local travel guide, continued ‘They have allowed a depth of around 20cm of snow for popular Andorra ski resorts like Soldeu, but while it’s an effective substitute for many skiiers it’s still not the real thing. It’s allowing skiing for people who booked their holidays a while ago, but last minute bookings are well down as people read the ski reports and head elsewhere this year.’
Press reports in the UK, Andorra’s top market, have indicated that some tour operators have already cut their prices, some by nearly 50 per cent, to entice the skiiers back to the Principality.
‘It really is the market for later in the season that’s in danger of being hit’, say the guide, ‘If they see now there isn’t much snow in Andorra this will influence their booking even though it could be a different story altogether when they get to go on their ski holiday’.
The ski tourist is also an important factor for the real estate agents in Andorra, with a percentage wanting to buy a holiday home after a visit.
‘So far there has been little change in the demand’, claim an Andorra property company who specialise in Andorra property for sale, ‘A lot of the buyers at the moment are those who visited last year, but it might have some impact from mid October onwards 2007’.
Andorra Real Estate
Buying a property in Andorra is often seen as a route to residency, which entitles people to live in Andorra and benefit from her tax haven status.
To obtain residency in Andorra, applications need to be submitted in Catalan. A notarised copy of the applicants passport, birth certificate and a certificate of good conduct from the home country are submitted at the same time. Residency normally takes between three and six months to be approved.
Once residency is granted, residents are supposed to spend six months a year in Andorra, but this isn’t policed.
One of the drawbacks for those looking to become a resident in a tax haven when considering Andorra has been that the country has no airport of its own, and is unlikely to have ine future given that it is located in the Pyrenees. The nearest airports are Barcelona and Toulouse.
Recent improvements in the road from Barcelona to Andorra though have cut the travelling time by some thirty minutes to two hours fifteen minutes.
For an on-line guide to Andorra visit http://www.yourandorra.com/thomson
Article Source: No Snow Drops Andorra Tourist And Property Numbers