The improved age limit offer was pioneered by resorts including Zermatt (age ten) and Are in Sweden (age eight) and has recently been followed by other Swiss resorts including Villars and Leysin (boith age nine) as well as the Dolomiti Superski region in Italy (age eight).
Before 2000, Switzerland had a reputation as one of the most expensive destination nations in the Alps, but the weakening of the Swiss Franc against other currencies along with near-zero ticket cost increases for many years whilst other Alpine nations have seen regular price rises has seen the country's ski areas become increasingly affordable.
On top of this Switzerland has always had the most generous prices in Europe for children, with ticket prices often between a half to two thirds less than the adult ticket and children often not having to pay at all until age six or seven and not being expected to pay adult price, until, well, adult age.
At Saas Fee, children aged 10 to 16 pay 171 Swiss Francs, currently £69, for a six day pass next winter, half the adult rate. This compares to 124.50 / £84 Euros for an equivalent pass paid by a child aged from 5 to 12 at Meribel. Children 13 and over pay the full 178 Euros / £120 adult price.
Although there has been a move to "family price deals" in France, the country has the most expensive pricing for children, normally paying from age four or five a price that is only 15 - 30% less than the full adult rate, and the full adult rate whilst still a child in the early teens. Some areas now offer another 10-20% "family discount." A Meribel family pass for two adults and two children under 18 is 570 Euros / £384. The Saas Fee equivalent, depending on the age of the children, ranges from £276 if the two children are under 10 to £345 if one of the two children is under 10 to £422 if both are over ten.