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COST OF KIDS' LIFT PASSES RISING - Jane Peel, Chief Reporter
Thursday July 26, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

The price of children's ski lift passes globally is continuing to rise, according to a study by FIS, the International Ski Federation.

FIS looked at costs in 767 resorts in 54 countries for the second edition of its International Report on Children's Lift Ticket Prices.

It found that in the past three years the global average for a one-day child's lift pass has risen by more than 17 per cent. A six-day pass has gone up by more than 15 per cent.

However, many resorts have also increased the age up to which they offer free lift passes or allow youngsters to pay a child's rate.

The figures are based on prices displayed on resort websites and do not take into account reductions offered for groups, travel companies, and tour operators or seasonal discounts, which vary widely.

"Globally, the number of snow sports participants is static and in some cases slowly falling," FIS says.

"There is a general agreement that the future of winter sports relies on children taking up the sport at a young age.

"Whilst there are many ways to encourage children to participate in winter sports, one area under constant debate is the price of lift passes."

Ski kidsSpotlight on children's lift passes - photo FIS















Main findings:

  • The global average for a 1-day child lift pass has risen from 27.81 CHF (roughly £21 or €24) in 2015 to 32.61 CHF (£25 or €28) in 2018.
  • The global average for a 6-day child lift pass has risen from 143.01 CHF (£109 or €123) in 2015 to 165.23 CHF (£126 or €142) in 2018.
  • The national averages of four of the 54 countries studied, including the USA, were higher than the global average.
  • 37% of resorts offer half priced (or less) tickets for children - an increase of 1%.
  • 67% of resorts offer a discounted price to children aged 16 or younger - an increase of 5%.
  • The number of resorts offering some form of family discount on standard lift ticket prices has decreased from 35% to 32%.
  • 9% of the resorts examined offer half priced (or less) tickets for children, a discount for children up to age 16 or some form of family discount on standard lift ticket prices all together. This is nearly double the figure of 5% found in the previous study.
Children at ski school in AustriaChildren at ski school in Austria

FIS says the study also identified a series of trends.

  • More use of dynamic - or flexible - pricing for tickets purchased in advance or for off-peak periods (common in the USA and growing in Canada and Europe).
  • Changes to child age brackets. In most cases these have changed so that children ski free for longer and receive child prices until a year or two older.
  • More multi-resort season passes - eg The Mountain Collective Pass, Epic Pass, The Ikon Pass, Valais Magic Pass, Tyroler Pass which come with considerable discounts.
  • A correlation between unified pricing structures and the number of skiers and snowboarders

"Whilst the impact of these trends was not measured it is assumed there is some positive impact as these trends exist in multiple countries around the world," the report says.

The research was carried out over the three months between October and December 2017.

The report is lengthy but we've picked out some interesting facts about a few of the countries surveyed.

Thredbo, AustraliaThredbo, Australia















Australia is one of the world's more generous nations for child discounts with children paying nearly half the adult price up to age 14. Three Australian resorts have extended the eligibility age for child lift passes to 17 years of age.

Austria is one of the more generous nations for families. Many resorts offer family discounts such as two children skiing free with one adult. These offers extend to children up to seven years old and in some cases until 10.

France - No resort was found to be charging children under the age of 5. This is an improvement on the last report where 12 were found to be charging children from the age of 4. A number of ski areas have increased the age limit for child lift ticket passes from 13 to 16, and in two instances 18.

Italy - More than half of the Italian resorts surveyed did not ask Children to pay until age 7 or 8, higher than for most other European countries. Whilst the approximate average child discount has decreased from 26 to 16% many resorts have raised the age to which children can receive a child prices.

Japan - The country's leading ski resort operator, Prince Hotels, which runs 10 of the country's top ski areas, does not charge children to ski until they are age 13.

Switzerland - On average children receive a 46% discount on adult lift passes in Switzerland. Additionally, almost all resorts provide free lift passes for children until age 6 with almost half of the resorts surveyed offering free skiing to age 7, 8 or 9. Switzerland's national average for a 1 day child lift passes of 21.41CHF remains below the global average of 32.61CHF.

USA - Ski areas have a wide range of pricing structures. The national average for a 1 day child lift pass is 16.09CHF above the global average. Despite this average age until when children ski for free has risen to 4.4. The average age until when a child receives a teen discount has risen to 19 years of age from 18 years of age.

Norway - Previously a few ski areas asked children to pay for tickets from age 6. This time all areas surveyed offered free skiing until age 7.

Child in Trysil, NorwayStarting young in Norway

















If you want more information you can download the report and use the lift ticket price finder here.

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

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