The topic of my case study is the use of the cableways during the off-ski season, which means when there is no snow on the mountains and the cableways could be useless. I choose the region of the Val d’Annivers because they seem to have developed good strategies and activities to make the cableways attractive even during the seasons without snow.
Cableways are expensive for destinations and they have to find and develop summer activities to increase the income and reduce seasonality.
The Val d’Anniviers is a region in the Valais. It is actually a fusion between the villages of Grimentz, Chandolin, St-Luc, Vissoie, Ayer, Saint-Jean and Zinal. This fusion has been made in 2009.
Use of the cableways during the off-ski season
The Val d’Anniviers has differents activities to offer to the tourists during the off-ski season and many of them need the cableways to make them attractive and fonctionnal. It is a matter of reciprocity : Cableways help the activities to be attractive and the activities make the cableways work during the off-ski season.
Activities in the Val d’Anniviers that help cableways to be used during the off-ski season :
Saint-Luc : There is an observatory reachable by the cableways and has many flat pathways very easy to walk on which allow familly and no sportive people to do this activity. Also, the hotel « Weisshorn » is very famous and attract many tourists, and it is only reachable by walk. The Cableways are very usefull for the Weisshorn’s customers because they help to reduce the time of walk to access it. Another walk is the « Sentier des planètes » which is a walk with sculptures based on the planete from the solar system along the way.
Zinal : It is a famous destination for paragliding. There are good spots on altitude accessible with the cableways that attract a lot of people who like this sport.
Grimentz : There are pathways accessible by the cableways, they are easy and very good for families. They have restaurant in altitude. The cableways also reduce the time to go to the Moiry dam as they reduce the time of walk.
For sportive people, there are several ways for mountain bike. This activity can be done from any villages in the Val d’Anniviers. The « bike Tour Anniviers » offers 230 km of paths for mountain bikers. The cableways allow mountain bikers to go at the top of the mountains and enjoy only the descent. Pathways are very good built and allows people from different levels to use them.
The other sport activity is the « descente en trotinette » which is possible with the use of the ski lift because this activity can only be done on the way down.
In the idea to attract more tourists during summer, the Val d’Anniviers has launched a new strategie named « Anniviers liberté ». From the first of june to the 31th of octobre, people who sleep in the Val d’Anniviers receive a pass to use for free several activities and also the transports such as buses and cableways. Not to lose money, they decided to increase the tax of living in the Val d’Anniviers. This initiative is very good for the use of the cableways because with this pass people will not need to buy tickets and can use them as much as they want and the cableways receive a part of the income.
Comparison with other resorts
In order to know if the Val d’Anniviers uses the cableways in an efficient way and if the strategies they adopted are good, I compared with what the other mountain resorts do to make tourists use their cableways.
Leysin : This mountain resort use pretty much the same activities than the Val d’Anniviers to make their cableways used by the tourists. Walking pathways, mountain bike and paragliding are the main activities promoted that need the cableways.
Avoria : They also use the cableways to make activities like walking, mountain bike and paragliding attractive to tourists. In addition, they offer a pass called « Multi Pass Premium » which is kind of the like « Anniviers liberté » and give access to many activities. This pass is available for the people who sleep in vacations in Avoria but the difference with the pass from the Val d’Anniviers is that it costs two euros a day.
After having researched how the Val d’Anniviers use the cableways during the off-ski season and the activities they offer and also compared with other mountain resorts, I can make the following conclusions :
Mountain resorts do not have many activities that need the use of the cableways, the main activities are walking, mountain bike and paragliding. It is quite difficulte to find other activities that need the use of the cableways in summer, they are more profitable in winter.
Compared to how other mountain resorts use the cableways in the off-ski season, the Val d’Anniviers makes a good job, they offer pretty much the same activities than the others and with the « Anniviers liberté », it give them an argument to attract tourists.
Call with Mr. Simon Wiget, Director of Anniviers Tourism