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The impact of climate change on demand of ski tourism - a simulation study based on stated preferences

Robert Steiger, Eva Posch, Gottfried Tappeiner and Janette Walde

Ecological Economics, 2020, vol. 170, issue C

Abstract: Climate change will affect tourism as one of the sectors most dependent on natural resources. Due to the strong dependency of many peripheral areas on tourism, climate change has the potential to destabilize regional economies. The objective of this paper is to assess the impacts of climate change on ski tourism demand. A tourist survey (n = 1957) with a choice experiment conducted in 53 ski areas in Austria provides the data for our analyses. Results show that snow is the most important factor for destination choice. Nevertheless, preferences of respondents are heterogeneous. Measures that enhance price-performance ratio, i.e. lowering lift ticket prices and avoiding crowding, turn out to be the most suitable compensation for suboptimal snow conditions. As long as substitute ski areas with better snow conditions exist, destinations with marginal snow conditions are likely to face severe demand losses (up to 60%). Nevertheless, dynamic pricing has the potential to compensate medium snow reliability. If all destinations are affected by deteriorating snow conditions, total demand reduces by 64% if snow reliability is low. If these conditions and effects are limited to the beginning and the end of the ski season, demand is projected to decline by 18%.

Keywords: Winter tourism; Climate change; Regional impact; Choice experiment; Alpine region; Demand simulation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: R11 D9 Q56 Z3 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2019.106589

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