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Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3536;

Microclimatic Volatility and Elasticity of Glacier Skiing Demand

Institute of Geography and Geology, University of Greifswald, 17489 Greifswald, Germany
Department of Geography and Economic History, Umeå University, 901 87 Umeå, Sweden
Department of Economics, Istanbul University, 34452 Istanbul, Turkey
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 September 2018 / Revised: 28 September 2018 / Accepted: 28 September 2018 / Published: 1 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Winter Tourism in Changing Climate)
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The effects of climate conditions and weather on ski tourism have become a hot topic as the negative impacts of climate change on ski tourism become increasingly visible. This study aims at measuring the significance and magnitude of long-term diurnal and daily weather conditions on lift frequentation at an Austrian glacier ski area in terms of the winter and the summer skiing offers. In doing so, it utilizes an autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity (ARCH) model to reveal and quantify any volatility associated with ski area visitation and then employs regression models to account for any microclimatic elasticity of glacier skiing demand. The main findings reveal a significant volatility in ski area visitation, especially during the summer seasons. While this study does not aim for an ultimate determination on the reasons for such volatility, skiing demand models illustrate the importance of thermal comfort, especially wind chill factor (WCF), as a major determinant of demand sensitivity for glacier skiing as well as non-skier visits during the summer season. Significant, albeit inelastic, relationships between other microclimatic characteristics, such as snow depth and relative humidity, with visitation and lift frequentation are also identified. Based on these findings, implications according to a changing climate and practical suggestions on the sustainability of winter and summer skiing activities are provided. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; climate elasticity; climate variability; glacier skiing; summer skiing; volatility; autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity; Cochrane–Orcutt procedure; Austria climate change; climate elasticity; climate variability; glacier skiing; summer skiing; volatility; autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity; Cochrane–Orcutt procedure; Austria

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Mayer, M.; Demiroglu, O.C.; Ozcelebi, O. Microclimatic Volatility and Elasticity of Glacier Skiing Demand. Sustainability 2018, 10, 3536.

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