A ski pass for all seasons on cards

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NZSki’s new online ticketing system could become a one-stop tourism and hospitality card, its creator believes. 

IT guru Phil Johnson, whose company CommArc helped design the “mypass”, reckons the personalised card could be linked up to hospitality businesses and airlines – and even work as a loyalty programme. 

The credit card-sized pass was introduced to skiers and snowboarders three weeks ago with the beginning of the season. 

It is microchipped and uses radio frequency technology that stores information for every skier and snowboarder.
Aspects of the system – like recording the user’s daily activities, and enabling people to access lifts through an automated gate – are already used in northern hemisphere ski resorts. 

Johnson, a former Royal New Zealand Air Force electronics engineer, and NZSki have turned it into an online service, so people can pre-purchase ski rentals, lessons, passes, crèche and guest services at Coronet Peak, The Remarkables and Mt Hutt from home. 

Next year it’ll be integrated into NZSki’s retail, transport, and food and beverage departments, and people will be able to load money onto it. 

Plans are underway to further expand the service into other local businesses, Christchurch-based John­­­­son says.
Like a trial later this year with Amisfield, where a product, such as a wine tasting, could be loaded on to the system. The customer buys online then produces the mypass at the winery. 

“They wave the customer’s card over it and it pops up their photograph and details and it brings up their entitlement for Amisfield,” he says. 

“Then what happens is Amisfield can say we had 5000 people from NZSki come and do our tasting.”
NZSki could also work with airlines for a shared loyalty programme. 

“Customers can buy their air ticket and ski product all in one transaction, all on their airpoints,” he says.
“This technology can do most things, all it requires is willing parties on either side.”