Skiing in New Zealand will be cheaper this year for international travellers from North America and Europe according to the latest edition of an annual study of ski lift ticket pricing at resorts worldwide.
World Ski Lift Ticket Price Report 2009 is the eighth edition of the study which compares the prices of a six-day high season lift ticket in more than 600 ski resorts in 40 countries around the world, converting the ticket prices to Euros, US dollars and British pounds.
In 2008 the Report placed New Zealand as the sixth most expensive country in the world for skiers, behind resorts in Dubai, South Africa, Australia, USA and South Korea. But in the 2009 Guide, New Zealand has slipped ten places to 16th with tickets costing nearly 27% less for Europeans, thanks to the strong Euro currency.
Six days of lift tickets in New Zealand cost an average of 149.62 Euros ($201.12) in 2008 (the figures on which the 2009 Report is based), compared to 204.25 Euros ($274.55) in 2007 (the figures on which the 2008 Report was based). Although prices in the ski centres may have increased by small amounts, the stronger Euro and US Dollar makes costs far lower for skiers arriving from the northern hemisphere.
For US residents the savings of skiing in New Zealand are even greater than for Europeans, down from an average of just over $302 (US) for six days in the 2008 Report to $190 (US) in the new Report, a saving of almost 40% - the result of a very strong US dollar.
For Brits the weak pound means savings aren't so great, but they are still able to make some savings with average prices for Brits skiing New Zealand down 14% from £153.20 to £131.55 for six days. This compares favourably with increased prices to almost all other ski destinations for UK citizens.
Prices in Australia are also down for Northern Hemisphere visitors although not by quite so much. Euro buyers will see prices dip by 17.88% from an average 254.60 Euros in 2007 to an average 209.07 Euros in 2008. Australia drop from third to fourth in the most expensive lift tickets in the world table, overtaken by Japan and the USA, the country would have gone fifth but South Africa's only commercial ski area filed for bankruptcy last month, taking the country out of the table.
Other Report Findings:
* 19 of the world's 20 most expensive lift tickets are in the USA and 8 of the world's top ten most expensive tickets are offered by ski resorts in Colorado.
* Deer Valley in Utah sold the world's first $600+ ticket ($602) for Xmas/New Year week this season.
* An average six day US resort peak-season lift ticket cost of $408 is exactly double the average French ski resort peak season cost of $204 dollars.
* The only major ski nation to match the US for currency strength over the past six months has been Switzerland.
* The tiny principality of Andorra, once famous as a budget destination, now has Europe's highest average lift ticket price at $245.
* The lowest priced six day pass in the world was found at Iran's Tochal ski area near Tehran with a $51 cost.
* The weak British pound means skiing in Scotland is currently 20% cheaper for Americans.