The little town of Ischgl located in the Austrian state of Tyrol has been known for years among passionate skiers since it is close to one of the world's largest ski areas Samnaun. Its 238 km of groomed pistes are a great attraction for skiers as well as tourists. Local farmers are more than happy for the crowds since tourism has boosted the local agriculture.
Despite the growing tourism in Ischgl there are still many farmers in and around the winter sports mecca. Agriculture and tourism have cooperated here to the benefit of both sectors.
While the skiers enjoy the slopes in winter, summer visitors can watch the Ischgl cows grazing on the green meadows. Many pastures are located directly at the ski resort.
The tourism development of the recent years has not harmed the farmers in the area, quite the opposite. There are around 60 farmers in the town. While their number remained about the same over the years, they manage to produce significantly more.
In the past, the meadows were often barren and uncultivated. Today, the slopes are well kept – ready for the tourists as well as the cows.
Since the slopes got larger, the farmers have larger pastures available. For Hermann Huber, the chairman of the local cheese makers, the cable car contributes significantly to the development of agriculture in the region. The slopes are well cultivated and are perfect pastures in the summer.
Moreover, many of the farmers in Ischgl are hoteliers at the same time. In the past, they offered their apartments and pensions for rent; later on they started operating big hotels.
"If all goes well in tourism, it is also easier for the agriculture. Earning the extra revenue in the winter, we can afford new machines for the farm," said the deputy chairman of the farmer’s chamber, Emil Zangerl.