Ski tourism and climate change: effects and business response

Climate change, both from natural and anthropogenic causes, has already affected and will continue to affect physical and biological systems in many parts of the world. The ski industry is one of the first and most visibly impacted industries by the risk of climate change. In this study the effects of the climate change on the ski industry of different countries and their responses will be analysed.


Link to case study: 713 Mini case Study

Author: Anna Ongaro 703_e


Bicknell, S., & Mcmanus, P. (2006). The Canary in the Coalmine: Australian Ski Resorts and their Response to Climate Change. Geographical Research, 386-400.

Moen, J., & Fredman, P. (2007). Effects of Climate Change on Alpine Skiing in Sweden. Journal of Sustainable Tourism.

Scott, D., McBoyle, G., Minogue, A., & Mills, B. (2006). Climate Change and the Sustainability of Ski-based Tourism in Eastern North America: A Reassessment. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 376-395.

Ski industry and climate change

Climate change is a challenge for the tourism industry in mountainous areas, mainly because of less snow coverage. Already now but more in the future, ski resorts will have more pressure and adapting to this issue will involve more costs.

This case study compares three peer-reviewed journals written on the issue of climate change in mountainous areas and adaptation measures in two different countries: Canada and Australia. Of course, the impact of climate change differs from country to country, or more precisely, from ski resort to ski resort.

A lot of ski resorts compensate the lack of snow by installing snow guns because snowmaking reduces the vulnerability of the ski industry. Of course, there are other adaptation measures for a ski resort to stay profitable.

Lack of snow Switzerland

To find out more on this topic: Mini case study on ski industry and climate change

Author: Magalie Baechler, Class 703e

Main sources:

Bürki, R., Elsasser, H., & Abegg, B. (2003, April). Climate change-impacts on the tourism industry in mountain areas. In 1st International Conference on Climate Change and Tourism, Dierba (pp. 9-11).

Pickering, C. M., & Buckley, R. C. (2010). Climate response by the ski industry: the shortcomings of snowmaking for Australian resorts. Ambio, 39(5-6), 430-438.

Scott, D., McBoyle, G., Mills, B., & Wall, G. (2001, December). Assessing the vulnerability of the alpine skiing industry in Lakelands Tourism Region of Ontario (Canada) to climate variability and change. In Proceedings of the First International Workshop on Climate, Tourism and Recreation. International Society of Biometeorology. Pgs (pp. 153-170).