Surprised? Ticket Prices Have Risen 10 Percent This Year

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The biggest tours made even more money in 2011, but this may be a short-term grab.

According to Pollstar, the largest 100 treks in North America improved revenues by 16 percent to $1.12 billion, but ticket prices also elevated 10 percent. Overall, attendance gained a milder 5 percent, while the average ticket price among the top 100 is now $67.

That is an average gain of $6.25 per ticket, one that doesn’t include extras like concessions, t-shirts, and parking fees.  But the price-gouging becomes even more obvious for the top 50 tours, where prices elevated a monstrous 14 percent to an average $84.92.  Worldwide, revenues among this more elite set grew 11 percent to $1.65 billion, though attendance actually declined by 2 percent to 19.4 million.

Is this sustainable?  Or, a just a good idea for maximizing short-term profits?