Tourism has brought “wealth to the Alps”, according to a statement from the international alpine protection commission CIPRA. But climate change and the changing demands of guests are now putting winter sports destinations to the test. According to CIPRA, overnight stays in the Alps have been declining for years, and climate change has noticeably shortened the ski season. As a result, around one quarter to one third of ski regions are now operating at a loss.
In a position paper on winter tourism, CIPRA is therefore calling for a “socio-economic transformation” in which the “quality of life of guests as well as residents” remains front and centre. Quoting from the Rio+20 summit outcome document, CIPRA writes that a “well-designed and managed tourism can make a significant contribution to the three dimensions of sustainable development”.
CIPRA hopes to support this transformation with its interactive presentation on winter tourism. The presentation presents decisions and their consequences using a fictional alpine region. Moving away from tourism is not excluded as a possibility.