Spiking prices, fading snow squeeze Austrian ski resorts & More Trending News


One of Austria’s high ski resorts is making as a lot synthetic snow as doable to put a thick base on the slopes earlier than its power payments leap.

Like different spots throughout the Alps, world-famous Kitzbuehel is being hit by inflation-driven price hikes, but in addition hotter winters which might be ever much less snowy.

“We expect that our power costs will at least double this season,” mentioned Anton Bodner, head of the resort’s Bergbahn Kitzbuehel firm, noting a number of lower cost power contracts run out by yr’s finish.

“We are talking about millions of euros,” he added, whereas trying over one of many few slopes already open.

The hovering power payments for Austria’s famed ski resorts have translated into pricier tickets, but in addition shorter hours and decreased service.

“We have no choice but to pass higher power prices on to our customers,” Bodner advised AFP, including that that they had stored will increase under inflation, which stood at 11 p.c by October.

Ski resorts like Kitzbuehel will attempt to economize by trimming opening instances, ramping up snowmaking when temperatures are colder and lowering elevate capability to avoid wasting power.

Kitzbuehel plans to run its lifts about two hours much less per day, opening barely later and shutting earlier.

– Less schnitzel –

But on the finish of the day, it is skiers who wind up feeling the pinch and fewer are anticipated to show up.

A just lately performed survey was pointing in direction of considerably fewer holidaymakers this winter season in Austria as a consequence of excessive inflation in comparison with 2019, mentioned Oliver Fritz, senior economist on the Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO).

“Even if a (winter) vacation is planned, potential guests want to spend less,” Fritz mentioned.

Cutting bills like consuming out, shortening holidays or turning to cheaper lodging or resorts are among the methods individuals are dialling again.

“At the restaurant we will only have schnitzel once a week and not twice” like we used to, skiier Klaus Bernert advised AFP in Kitzbuehel, which is thought for its alpine snowboarding downhill race.

“Everything has become about 20, 30 percent more expensive. Another 20, 30 percent, and we can no longer afford skiing. Then we would unfortunately have to give up our hobby,” the 58-year-old added.

Equipment and season passes for him and one other member of the family “already ate up two to three monthly salaries”, he mentioned.

Sabine Huber, an area from a close-by valley, mentioned she anticipated increasingly individuals to proceed to modify to ski touring, a sport the place lovers climb the slopes on skis, rendering elevate tickets pointless.

“I’m lucky that I’m a ski tourer and can practise my sport relatively cheaply. Of course, I know many who are already considering whether or not to buy a ski pass because of high prices,” she mentioned.

– Melting income –

Austria’s well-known ski resorts are a part of its winter tourism trade, which pulled in about 3.9 p.c of the nation’s nationwide GDP in 2019, earlier than the pandemic slashed income.

Ski resorts are attempting to remain optimistic, nevertheless it stays to be seen how Alpine vacationer locations throughout Europe will fare as warming temperatures and inflation threaten their very existence.

“Since 1961, the average annual snow cover duration over the entire area of Austria has decreased by 40 days,” mentioned Marc Olefs, head of local weather analysis at Austria’s nationwide meteorological and geophysical service ZAMG.

Without measures to chop greenhouse gas-related warming, the length of pure snow cowl at altitudes starting from 1,500 to 2,500 metres might “decrease by a further 25 percent by 2100”, Olefs famous.

And with out snowy winters and sub-zero temperatures, each pure and synthetic snow will quickly be a factor of the previous.

“Ski resorts can no longer be operated economically without artificial snow, because the tourism industry simply needs predictability and reliability. With artificial snow, we can guarantee that skiing is possible from the beginning of December until April,” mentioned Kitzbuehel’s Bodner.

Austria’s financial system would additionally undergo appreciable harm.

Around 16 of 30 billion euros that the tourism trade generated per yr earlier than the pandemic had been from the winter season, mentioned Fritz, the economist.

“If Alpine winter tourism is severely affected by climate change, ten billion euros can certainly be regarded as endangered,” he mentioned.


Spiking prices, fading snow squeeze Austrian ski resorts

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Spiking prices, fading snow squeeze Austrian ski resorts

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Spiking prices, fading snow squeeze Austrian ski resorts

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