Resorts have decided to charge people who request first
According to the Valle d' Aosta, tourists who have ski slope
accidents whilst abroad will now need to pay up to €200 if
they require medical assistance. The cost is to cover, for example
the calling out of a helicopter, snowmobile or toboggan. The scheme
is already operational in the Plan de Corones District of Trentino,
with other regions like the Alto Adige following soon.
Nicola Bosticco, managing director of Bardonecchia district in
Vasusa, said "Having rescue services which you have to pay
for, discourages abuse." Nicola Bostico added, "Sometimes
skiers want to be brought down to the valley in a snowmobile just
because they've had too much to drink at the bar. A fee will
therefore encourage tourists to make an informed decision before
asking for the resort's rescue services."
The decision to charge tourists at resorts if they are involved
in ski accidents whilst abroad is also (according
to Aurelio Marguerettaz, counsellor for tourism in the valle
d'Aosta) partly due to higher running costs and a reduction in
profits over the past few years. In the past the costs were covered
by regional authorities. Ferruccio Fournier, President of Valle
d'Aosta's Cable Car Association, said that "It is an
excellent service, and we want it to remain that way, but we need
to guarantee a financial balance". He continued, "In the
Valle d'Aosta region alone, rescue services come to the aid of
around 3,500 skiers each year but many clients are already covered
by insurance." In addition to this, there are stiff penalties
if the system is misused, for instance, you would be liable to pay
a penalty if you request a helicopter and are not in need of
emergency medical care or are not in immediate danger. Resorts in
regions like Veneto, Valle d'Aosta and Trentino are already
implementing these charges, whilst others like Piedmont and
Lombardy will be following soon.
The scheme however does not get the support of everyone, the
President of the Alpine Rescue, Piergiorgio Baldracco commented,
"Why should people who get hurt in the mountains have to pay
for help when people who get into a car accident in Italy whilst
talking on the phone don't have to? In this way, you risk
disadvantaging a part of the population."
The countries that neighbour Italy do not offer free rescue
services. Tourists normally buy insurance with their ski pass to
avoid high fees in case of alpine accidents abroad. For example,
policies are offered from €3 by Monterosa, Cervinia, and
Courmayeur-Mont Blanc resorts.
Avoid a fee if you have an accident whilst abroad
Skiers are advised to have an insurance policy in place before
Have you been the victim of an accident whilst abroad that was
not your fault? You may be able to make a personal injury
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