Andrew J. Wein - Dec 19, 2006

Climate is generally the most important factor in tourists’ choice of destination. Some tend to seek warmer sun of southern Europe, just as ski-lovers are attracted by snow of the Alps. However, this year’s weather has so far followed the tendency of recent years being warmer with less snow. This has a negative effect on the European skiing industry.



Germany has so far been the worst affected country, suffering from the record number of cancelled trips. The country experienced its warmest autumn for 5 centuries, with temperatures 5.75% higher than in previous years. In general, the Alps are going through their warmest December in 1.300 years. This has a devastating effect on the numbers of tourists visiting Alpine ski resorts. In Switzerland, banks are refusing to lend money to resorts, which are situated at an altitude less than 1.500 metres.



New reservations for January to central European ski resorts have come almost to a complete standstill. Most typical ski destinations have either little or no snow. There have been suggestions of venturing to higher-located resorts, but 3.000 metres is an unsuitable altitude for children. Before this year there used to be an average of 60-80 million tourists to the Alpine countries looking for some fun on snow. Global warming has seriously reduced not only this figure, yet also the amount of opportunities the Alps can offer to their visitors.


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