The Impact of Global Warming on Tourism Industry in Case of Alpine Winter Destinations

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1. Introduction

The global climate is changing; this affects all of us. Therefore future will bring up new subjects to be dissccused for everybody. What way of transportation do we use? How many water are we wasting? Has the food we eat grown in an ecological environment? All of us are involved when thinking about the future of mother earth. Also business world has to consider their futural behaviour. Are we working in an energy-efficient environment? Do we waste resources? Are our distribution channels sustianbale? But as always some are hidden harder than others. A branch which has to concern deeply is the tourism industry. Their core
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A strong warming leads to rain instead of snow and the fallen snow melts rapidly, especially in this prealpine lands. This is followed by winters with little snow (SLF, 2011). Costumers generally expect a white landscape with deeply snowed slopes. Moreover they want to experience real winter feeling, what is no longer given. Deep white winters are getting more and more rare. Destinations located in higher altitudes, means over 2’000 meters above sea level, do not announce yet a climate-induced decline of snow (SLF, 2011). However also they have to be concerned about global warming. Still they are not affected by winters with little snow, ist natural environment is changing too. Glaciers, with whom early-starting winter season could be provided, are melting rapidly. Furthermore areas covered with permafrost are decreasing. The changing of ground due to the melting of permafrost will lead to a significant shift of the ground level. Due to this fact Alpine winter destinations on higher altitudes need to deal with upcoming natural dangers as earth slips and rock falls. Alpine winter destinations are not able to naturally provide winter as guests estimate. Besides little snow winters makes the seasons even shorter. When a season years ago started in early November and ended after eastern break, destinations had about five months to generate a positive turnover. In future they cannot rely on this income, because it is not naturally guaranteed anymore.

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