Cookies on Leisure Tourism

Like most websites we use cookies. This is to ensure that we give you the best experience possible.


Continuing to use  means you agree to our use of cookies. If you would like to, you can learn more about the cookies we use.

Leisure Tourism

Your source for all tourism, leisure and hospitality information

CABI’s case study database - Tourism Cases, is a window into the world of tourism development. To search cases and find out more on how to read online, download PDFs and access teaching notes visit Tourism Cases at: 

Watch the promotional video here:

News Article

Climate change model shows impact on Alpine Ski resorts

Mathematical model calculates snowline change

Ski resorts in the Alps are extremely vulnerable to climate change according to a new study published in Science of The Total Environment.

The research conducted by a team in Switzerland, concluded that for ski resorts to remain viable in a changing climate then technical snow production is an appropriate adaptation to rising temperature and fluctuating snow fall.

It is estimated that a temperature rise of 2 °C would result in a 300 m rise of the snow reliability line in the Alps and the absolute snow line would move up to 1500 m. The Alps have lost the much of their permanent snow and glacier cover the last 100 years because of climate variance and climate change.

Since 1850, glaciers in the Alps have lost between 30 and 40% of their surface area and half of their volume, with a further 10 to 20% of their volume having disappeared since 1980.

Studies have predicted that 52% of Switzerland’s small glaciers will be gone within the next 25 years, according to The Research Center for Alpine Ecosystems.

Many ski resorts across the Alps apply a 100-day rule (which is calculated as the number of days per season with a snow depth larger than 30 cm ) for operation.

The researchers have calculated the mean elevation of the initial 47 ski resorts, in the countries Austria, Germany and Switzerland included in the study, is 1665 m, meaning that many are at risk from reduction in snow levels and therefore ski resort viability.

The researcher’s mathematical model, calculates snowpack levels across the resorts in the alps under different climate scenarios.

Resorts at lower elevations are predicted to struggle to maintain snow levels required for skiing, therefore questioning the viability of these resorts in the future – even with mechanical snow production

In the US climate change, an increase in average temperature of 2 degrees centigrade, is estimated to shorten the ski season length by approximately 30%. In Europe in 2020, there was a delay in the start of the ski season due to the lack of snow, the pandemic hindered skiers coming to resorts.


Reference :

Fabian Willibald, Sven Kotlarski, Pirmin Philipp Ebner, Mathias Bavay, Christoph Marty, Fabian V. Trentini, Ralf Ludwig, Adrienne Grêt-Regamey, (2021)

Vulnerability of ski tourism towards internal climate variability and climate change in the Swiss Alps,Science of The Total Environment, Volume 784,

Article details

  • Author(s)
  • Jesslyn Thay
  • Date
  • 14 June 2021