Sun, Jul 21, 2019 - Page 7 News List

Swiss Alpine resorts grapple with climate change

Resorts are adding summer activities to stay viable as predictions say that even at 3,000m, pistes could see snow depths more than halved by 2100 if greenhouse gas emissions are not curbed

By Michael Shields  /  Reuters, AROSA, Switzerland

“We as a single entity cannot solve the whole climate problem. Politicians have to provide framework conditions,” Reinle said.

Jungfraubahn corporate secretary Christoph Schlaeppi said it employed 800 local people, helping to make life in the mountains economically sustainable for a new generation.

The government says it is up to individual resorts to decide how much they want to attract Asian groups, but focuses its own promotion efforts on individual travelers and sustainability, noting that Japanese tourists now come independently and stay longer.

“We have to see that guests from Asia making the long flight to Europe or Switzerland stay as long as possible,” said Richard Kaempf, head of tourism policy at the Swiss State Secretariat of Economic Affairs.

While the government encourages year-round use of mountain infrastructure, he said it is not giving up on winter sports, a deep cultural touchstone for Swiss.

However, he acknowledged the growing challenge of lowlanders losing the “winter feeling.”

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