The impacts of climate change on ski tourism: assessing the vulnerability of ski tourism and adaptation strategies in the region Oberstdorf-Kleinwalsertal

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Climate change is one of the biggest challenges society faces today. One of the branches of society that will be affected is the tourism industry, particularly the ski tourism industry, since sufficient snowfall is a necessity. Therefore, this research is aimed at explaining the economic, social, and environmental impacts of climate change on ski tourism in the region Oberstdorf-Kleinwalsertal as well as assessing what climate adaptation strategies there are. To achieve this, surveys and interviews were conducted and a desk research was carried out. The results show that economic vulnerability differs between stakeholders of the ski tourism industry, and that the region is socially vulnerable due to an aging population, the cultural importance of ski tourism and a limited social adaptive capacity. Furthermore, ski tourism impacts the environmental vulnerability, due to artificial snowmaking and natural hazards. The region is in the early stages of developing climate adaption strategies. However, the region has taken measures to adapt to climate change, which are mainly aimed at shifting the focus from ski tourism to all-year tourism. Less popular strategies are maintaining ski tourism and the use of subsidies. Future research could include the future vulnerability and a more diverse group of stakeholders.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen