Rachael Carver is a Staffordshire University graduate and Professor Fiona Tweed has experimented the impacts of melting snow and ice on the future of tourism in a new research paper published in Geography. Their research paper is based on field research that was taken up by Rachael in the European Alps for her dissertation and in her paper, she has highlighted how resorts are availing a range of measures to sustain the ski season a little longer by glacier blankets and artificial snow.
In her own words Rachael has said that she had a keen interest about understanding human interaction with the environment and the importance of climate change. For her passion, she has visited Stubai Glacier in Austria on holiday and she was astonished by the fact that the owner was trying to conserve the whole ski industry. This factor has raised a lot of questions in her mind.
Stubai Glacier owners were using protective blankets to reduce ice melting and wind erosion. This popular site has slowly turned into a summer holiday destination with many new attractions.
Rachael had done a survey on the tourists and it turned out that 70% of them would return to the site if the glaciers were not there. Because they want to enjoy citing mountains, scenery and hiking.
She has also found out that resorts around the world are using similar strategies and most of them are using snow machines. But the problem is snow and ice generation and conservation measures are becoming the reasons for unsustainability. It is also consuming energy which is responsible for climate change.
We are losing glaciers in a higher rate and at this very moment not having any tourism will affect people economically. So, resort owners are using different solutions to deal with this kind of situation. Though it is not providing them with any long-term solution.
Rachael herself thinks that adaption is important. As the resorts were planned to be ski resorts but they can be so much more with a little bit of foresight and planning. She says that the resorts should provide visitors with opportunities to explore mountain environments in different ways, such as, introducing new hiking routes, mountain bike trails, viewing platforms and by introducing many educational attractions.
Her research paper also prospected innovative solutions like grass skiing, which has already been introduced by resorts in the Czech Republic.