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Euro-zone lift ticket prices are lower this year thanks to the strengthening pound, according to initial findings of an annual survey of lift ticket prices.

The survey, carried out by ski resort research business Snow24, found that the cost of lift tickets has actually increased but the exchange rate is currently working to the favour of British skiers and boarders.

'The situation changes daily, and it's marginal, but while we're seeing most six-day lift tickets rising three to five euros, the slightly stronger pound to euro exchange rate usually means passes actually cost a few pounds less than last winter.' said Patrick Thorne of Snow24.

Rising prices elsewhere

However it's a different story in Switzerland and the USA, where prices are currently around five per cent higher than last year due to exchange rate fluctuations. Despite these price rises, Swiss resorts continue to offer some of the best value for families- children up to nine can still ski for free in a lot of resorts and many offer half price passes to those aged 16 to 18. Canada and Scotland have similar pricing models.

The more expensive lift tickets of North American resorts can often be offset by buying inclusive accommodation and lift ticket packages, through specialist UK tour operators or direct from the resort.

The survey also found a growing number of European ski areas offering discounts for lift passes purchased in advance online. Snow24 have so far collated prices from 400 ski areas in 26 countries for the coming 2010-11 season.