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Special Issue "Sustainable Winter Tourism in Changing Climate"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainability of Culture and Heritage".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Martin Falk

Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO), Arsenal Objekt 20, A-1030 Vienna, Austria
Website | E-Mail
Interests: climate change; winter tourism demand; individual travel survey; quantitative research; microeconometrics; applied time series and panel data models
Guest Editor
Prof. Antti Honkanen

Multidimensional Tourism Institute (MTI), University of Lapland, Yliopistonkatu 8, 96300 Rovaniemi, Finland
Website | E-Mail
Interests: sustainable tourism; sustainable travel behavior; seasonality; cultural tourism; second home ownership
Guest Editor
Prof. Markku Vieru

Multidimensional Tourism Institute (MTI), University of Lapland, Yliopistonkatu 8, 96300 Rovaniemi, Finland
Website | E-Mail
Interests: winter tourism demand; climate change; sustainable tourism business; hospitality industry

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Tourism is, not only a factor that causes major greenhouse gas emissions, with air transportation accounting for the largest share, but is also threatened by climate change, especially winter tourism. Regionalized climate models for the Northern hemisphere show that the temperature increase in the winter months (December to February) is much more pronounced than in other climate zones, based on medium and high emission future emissions scenarios (RCP 4.5 and 8.5). Furthermore, there is an ongoing discussion about the characteristics of environmentally-friendly tourist behavior in the winter season. Green tourists can be characterized by taken into account both a low carbon travel mode and a nature based destination when they choose their holiday destinations. However, little is known about the market potential of nature based tourists and their features. The aim of the Special Issue is to collect new insights into the characteristics of nature based tourists in the winter season, based on research using microeconometric models and representative individual travel survey data. Another objective is to provide new evidence on the link between climate variability and winter tourism demand using long time series or panel data. Time varying econometric models can be employed to analyze whether the relationships are changing over time. In recent years, for instance, snow based winter tourism areas to be less affected by lack of snow or extraordinarily warm winter temperatures due to their extensive investments in snow making facilities or other adaptation measures.

Dr. Martin Falk
Prof. Antti Honkanen
Prof. Markku Vieru
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • climate change
  • winter tourism demand
  • individual travel survey
  • quantitative research

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Weather and Air Quality Drive the Winter Use of Utah’s Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3582; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103582
Received: 30 August 2018 / Revised: 2 October 2018 / Accepted: 3 October 2018 / Published: 8 October 2018
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Abstract
Winter outdoor recreation opportunities in Utah are directly impacted by the effects of climate change and deteriorating air quality. We examine the influences of daily weather conditions and air quality on winter use of two prominent Utah canyons located just outside Salt Lake
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Winter outdoor recreation opportunities in Utah are directly impacted by the effects of climate change and deteriorating air quality. We examine the influences of daily weather conditions and air quality on winter use of two prominent Utah canyons located just outside Salt Lake City-Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons. Daily weather data were collected both within the canyons and in Salt Lake City; daily air quality data were collected for just Salt Lake City. We hypothesized that desirable weather within the canyons (i.e., cooler temperatures, more snowfall, and deeper snow depths) serves as a “pull” factor, positively influencing the volume of traffic. We also hypothesized that poor air quality within the city acts as a “push” factor on individuals’ travel behavior, this too would positively influence the volume of traffic up the canyons. We used a panel time-series regression model to determine the influence of both these “push” and “pull” factors on use of the canyons during the winter months. Our results revealed that, as expected, cooler temperatures and greater amounts of snow in the canyons, as well as poorer air quality in the city, have a positive and significant influence on winter canyon use. These findings suggest that warmer winter temperatures, as well as deteriorating air quality in the city, may have substantial impacts on Utah’s outdoor recreation economy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Winter Tourism in Changing Climate)
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Open AccessArticle Microclimatic Volatility and Elasticity of Glacier Skiing Demand
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3536; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103536
Received: 12 September 2018 / Revised: 28 September 2018 / Accepted: 28 September 2018 / Published: 1 October 2018
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Abstract
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
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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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Winter Tourism in Changing Climate)
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Open AccessArticle The Economic Sustainability of Snow Tourism: The Case of Ski Resorts in Austria, France, and Italy
Sustainability 2018, 10(9), 3012; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10093012
Received: 27 June 2018 / Revised: 21 August 2018 / Accepted: 22 August 2018 / Published: 24 August 2018
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Abstract
The purpose of this article is to analyse whether ski resorts in Europe are economically viable. Data originates from the financial statements of the 61 largest ski lift operators in Austria, France, and Italy. Descriptive statistics reveal that these operators are characterized by
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The purpose of this article is to analyse whether ski resorts in Europe are economically viable. Data originates from the financial statements of the 61 largest ski lift operators in Austria, France, and Italy. Descriptive statistics reveal that these operators are characterized by positive and relatively high returns, and by having little debt in general terms. The results show that the most economically profitable ski operators are also the largest. The elevation of the ski area is not relevant. Ski lift operators in Austria have a higher profitability than those in France and Italy. Overall, larger ski resorts are better prepared for the future investment needed to adapt to the new conditions in the industry, such as climate variability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Winter Tourism in Changing Climate)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle An Exploration of the Debt Ratio of Ski Lift Operators
Sustainability 2018, 10(9), 2985; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10092985
Received: 4 July 2018 / Revised: 3 August 2018 / Accepted: 16 August 2018 / Published: 22 August 2018
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Abstract
This article examines the determinants of the debt-to-capital ratio of ski lift operators. The analysis is based on the total population of 248 ski lift operators in Austria. The median debt-to-capital ratio is 73%, with a highly skewed distribution, where almost every fourth
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This article examines the determinants of the debt-to-capital ratio of ski lift operators. The analysis is based on the total population of 248 ski lift operators in Austria. The median debt-to-capital ratio is 73%, with a highly skewed distribution, where almost every fourth operator exhibits negative equity capital. Robust regressions show that the debt-to-capital ratio significantly depends on the size of the ski area, elevation, location, presence of a neighboring ski area, supply of accommodation nearby, and the proportion of foreign overnight stays. However, the significance and magnitude of these factors differ between East and West Austria. For eastern Austria, larger ski operators, with neighboring resorts close by and a vast supply of accommodation, have a significantly lower debt-to-capital ratio. In western Austria, elevation and presence of a neighbor are significant predictors. Operators with a neighbor nearby exhibit a 15-percentage-point lower debt ratio. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Winter Tourism in Changing Climate)
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Open AccessArticle Ski Tourism and Web Marketing Strategies: The Case of Ski Resorts in France and Spain
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2920; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082920
Received: 22 June 2018 / Revised: 6 August 2018 / Accepted: 12 August 2018 / Published: 17 August 2018
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Abstract
The impacts of climate change are affecting ski tourism in Europe’s southernmost ski resorts, such as those in France, and Spain. This is leading to changes in the scheduling of activities which, in turn, imply changes in how ski resorts are managed. The
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The impacts of climate change are affecting ski tourism in Europe’s southernmost ski resorts, such as those in France, and Spain. This is leading to changes in the scheduling of activities which, in turn, imply changes in how ski resorts are managed. The main aim of this work is to analyze whether ski resort websites are developing an effective marketing strategy and if they are adapted to e-commerce and the needs of contemporary society, including the adaptations needed to better face climate change and the stagnation the sector is suffering. In order to achieve this, we have developed a model to analyze ski resort websites; it is based on web content analysis, taking four factors into account: information, communication, e-commerce, and additional functions. We will, secondly, apply the eMICA (Extended Model of Internet Commerce Adoption) methodology to analyze the maturity of such e-commerce activities in ski tourism. Fifty-two ski resorts in Spain and 173 in France were analyzed. Results show that, while alpine ski resorts in general, and those in France in particular, are better prepared, resorts still have to facilitate more effective communication and interaction with their target public. A minority of resorts provide information on environmental certifications and snowmaking. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Winter Tourism in Changing Climate)
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Open AccessArticle Winter Weather Anomalies and Individual Destination Choice
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2630; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082630
Received: 24 June 2018 / Revised: 19 July 2018 / Accepted: 23 July 2018 / Published: 26 July 2018
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Abstract
Recently, several winter seasons in the European Alps have been unexpectedly warm. In the Austrian mountains, December 2015 was the warmest since weather records began, with a temperature deviation of +6.6 °C compared to the long-term average. By use of data on 6200
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Recently, several winter seasons in the European Alps have been unexpectedly warm. In the Austrian mountains, December 2015 was the warmest since weather records began, with a temperature deviation of +6.6 °C compared to the long-term average. By use of data on 6200 individual trips from the Austrian travel survey, a multinomial Logit model is employed to estimate if weather anomalies affect the choice of winter trips. A substitution for more distant trips may create additional environmental burdens, given that they require longer travels or alternative transportation modes. Estimation results reveal that the choice of a mountain destination is not yet affected by extreme winter weather conditions. The result is valid for December 2015, as well as for the total winter season 2015/2016. However, December 2015 and 2016 exhibit a separate development with a significant increase in the likelihood of trips to non-mountains in Europe (mostly city breaks), although no traces of a direct substitution effect can be found. Younger and older people, as well as women, are less likely to go on a winter trip to the mountains. Residents with a tertiary degree and students are more interested in this, as well as large travel groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Winter Tourism in Changing Climate)
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