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Effects of climate change on tourism demand considering individual seasonal preferences

Robert Steiger (), Eva Posch (), Gottfried Tappeiner () and Janette Walde ()

Working Papers from Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck

Abstract: Climate change is a major challenge for weather-dependent industries such as winter tourism. Existing climate change impact assessments largely do not consider seasonality of demand and snow conditions are usually included as binary variable (e.g. ski area open or closed). With this paper we want to address seasonality of demand, timing of marginal snow conditions and differential sensitivity of customers to marginal snow. Our objective is to investigate the impact of climate change on ski tourism demand in order to improve the basis for assessing the economic impacts of climate change. A representative survey and choice experiment with 1312 skiers in 53 Austrian ski areas is used as basis for this analysis. The impact of marginal snow conditions on demand is simulated with preferences of skiers for certain ski area attributes (including snow) derived from the choice experiment. Results show that a lack of natural snow can cause significant demand losses of up to 17%. If in addition snow experiences turn to bad, our simulation shows losses of up to 35%. Results suggest that demand losses are to be expected sooner than suggested by impact assessments modeling operating days. This study also shows that seasonality of demand combined with seasonality of marginal snow conditions considerably alters projected climate change-induced losses of demand.

Keywords: Winter tourism; Climate change; Choice experiment; Alpine region; Demand simulation; seasonality (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: R11 D9 Q56 Z3 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 25 pages
Date: 2020-08
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