Slides 2009

Slides 2010


Alpine Nations
• Switzerland
• Liechtenstein
• France
• Germany
• Austria
• Slovenia
• Italy

  • 200 km at an average height of 1700m
  • 12% of world’s tourists go to the Alps per year
  • C. 80 million people visitors per year to c.16 million resident population
    • Ratio 5:1 of tourists to residents

  • Ski season: December to April (depending on the snow)


Short Term

All these factors impact both the host and the visitors

Stress on services

    • Transportation

    • Water
  • Water stress – hydro power, drinking water

    • Electricity
§ Heating
§ Lighting
§ Snowmobiles
§ Artificial snow
§ Lifts

    • Health care
  • Avalanche years vary
  • Avalanches 90% of avalanches that kill skiers are caused by skiers themselves
  • Popular “free-riding” beyond the designated pistes causes avalanches
  • Ski injuries

Pictures: avalanche, free-riding

  • Only bring seasonal work
Statistics for seasonal work

  • Brings seasonal work
  • Seasonal pollution
Pollution in area

Long Term
Increase in prices, inflation

(unaffordable to local population)

  • Rising prices of chalets (can be above 1 million euros)
Income to area

  • Increased economic growth – (eventually may lead to great decreases)
  • Austria – half tourism income is from skiing and 4.5 of national economy
Prices of ski tickets, chalets, holiday (+packages)
Eventual decrease in industry
  • Number of ski resorts could fall from 666 to 400 by 2050
  • Multiplier effect
Olympic games
  • Creating frequently used areas
  • Noise, air (partly due to trucks traveling through the Alps: tunnels)
  • Littering – buried under the snow (orange peal disintegration)
  • Destruction of flora and fauna – going off trail (some places are more strict than others)
  • Decline in bird life marked in Jan 2007 by Journal of Applied Biology

Increase in Global Temperatures
  • Temperature increases
    • 4 degrees = ½ snow reliable slopes
    • 1 degree – reduce natural snow by 10%

Decrease in snowfall

  • Snowfall decrease examples:
    • 20% in last 30 years for Italy
    • 30 – 50 years, Australia’s snow businesses will be gone
  • Snowline could rise in Alps by 300m over next 5 decades – UN Environmental Program
  • Moving further up the mountain & using pristine areas

Melting Glaciers
  • (2006) World Glacier Monitoring Service said Alps could lose ¾ of glaciers in next century due to climate change
  • Glaciated area:
1850 – 4,474 sq km
2000 – 2,272 sq km

Artificial Snow
  • Large costs of artificial snow production (large use of water, capital, and power)
  • Used since 1996
  • Puts chemicals into natural ecosystem
  • Temperatures must be about -2C in dry air and -10 to -15C in wet air
  • Adds c. 1 month to the life of a piste
  • One hectare for a season requires: c.4,000 cubic m of water 25,000 kilowatts of energy 150,000 euros
  • 1999-2000 season, 10 million cubic m were used to generate artificial snow in France = water demands of 170,000 people
  • Artificial snow uses same amount of water as 1.5 million people each year
      • ½ water comes from build mountain reservoirs
      • 1/3 come from rivers
      • The rest from drinking-water supplies

  • Avalanches caused by skiers

  • Hostility between the tourists and hosts, dislike towards tourists
  • Increased development infrastructure, transport, hotels…
  • development of other tourist activities (from receding snows and increase in global temperatures)
  • Only ½ people visiting the Alps actually ski or snowboard every day
  • Less attention paid to historical sights and tourism (may now be changing)

  • Foreigners buying out residence

  • Cold Bed Phenomenon
  • 13,700 m^2 building rights sold to Canadian company – most bought by British

  • Lack government control – local companies and changing elected officials
  • Private ownerships


Short Term – Seasonal
  • More crowded – more competition to be the ‘first skier of the day’ and to the lifts
    • Encourages “free-riding”
  • Worse skiing (decreased snow conditions)

Long Term
  • More expensive skiing
  • Increased fitness (winter activity)
  • Have to travel farther and higher to reach good ski conditions
  • Introduction to new activities (nature tourism, historical tourism?)
  • False impressions – from artificial snow and covering up of garbage
  • Air travel – shorter, quicker travel
  • Media’s role in industry
  • Diversity in skiing – more options
  • The activity may be dying out


  • Threatened water supply
    • Their greatest water source is being used irrationally
    • Threatened hydropower