Earlier this week, New Zealand Tourism introduced #nzdronie – as far as we know, the first tourism organisation to use drones to promote their destination.

According to the video below, their drone will be appearing at different ski resorts in the South Island, offering holidaymakers the chance to let the drone take a unique video they can then share on social networks.

Get ready for the ultimate holiday memory…

As they describe it ‘Get ready for the ultimate holiday memory…’


Free service from NZ Tourism

The service will be provided free.  However, rather than follow as you carve perfect power turns – the video is likely to be an eight second shot panning back from you and into the air.

According to Mashable, the camera used is not a GoPro, but an integrated camera on a DJI Phantom 2 Vision drone.  It can fly at up to 55 kmh and as high as 275m.


phantom drone nz


No videos to date?

The official #nzdronie video only came out a couple of days ago, but to date (24 July 2014) there have been no videos shared on Twitter by the public.

It is creating a wave of publicity for New Zealand Tourism though, with their main target being the 150,000 Australians who travel to ski in New Zealand each (Southern) winter.


Will drones become commonplace in ski resorts?

The potential for the use of drones in ski resorts is almost limitless.  We’ve been following their development since we saw this incredible video last winter:


Action sports and drones are a perfect mix

Take a look around YouTube and you can see plenty of examples of their use already in skiing, snowboarding and other sports.

Look at this example of just one company using action sports to showcase drones:


Legality in UK and France unclear

However, while use of drones is growing fast, the legality of use is unclear.

In the USA, this video shot by a drone flying through a firework display led to an enquiry by the city council:


Arrests in France

In France, guess what…the rules are complex.   There has already been an arrest in a test case in Nancy, where an 18 year-old, using the same drone as New Zealand Tourism are using, was charged with ‘endangering lives’.

The law does seem to depend on the weight of the drone.

Mike Richards – Communications Manager from the CAA – has been reported as saying that a unmanned aircraft of less than 25kg would be considered a model aircraft.

Otherwise the current law suggests that you would not be able to use drones within 50m of either people or buildings, or 150m from a ‘major event’.

We hope the authorities in both countries clarify the law – and brief the police accordingly.

Evidently unskilled use could lead to ‘endangering lives’. But as the cost declines and more products enter the market (presumably weighing just less than 25kg) you can expect to see more of these in ski resorts in the future.


By Iain Martin