The adaptation of European Alpine tourism to climate change
Strömberg, Jonathan (2017)
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The changing environment poses challenges for the tourism industry in the Alps. Especially winter sports tourism is under threat due to the expected declination of snow conditions. The present thesis examines relevant literature to form an understanding of expected future climatic conditions, how the conditions effect the Alpine environment and thus the operating environment for Alpine tourism, and of the adaptation measures suggested by the literature. Using the Austrian state of Vorarlberg as an example region, the thesis estimates and highlights the potential effects of the implementation of a sustainable and a non-sustainable set of adaptation strategies by the relevant tourism actors. It can be estimated that the implementation of technological adaptation strategies to support the viability of ski areas should only be considered in regions that are snow-reliable currently and in the future to avoid misplaced investments. The climatic conditions of the summer season will improve in the Alps and the region should focus on touristic offers that are sustainable in the long term and that can benefit from the existing infrastructure in the region. Adaptation measures can be estimated to be the most viable when based on the existing strengths of a region.