the ski resort mannequin deemed “unsuitable” by the Court of Auditors | EUROtoday
“Pas up to the challenges”, “inadequate”, “reckless”… In a report made public on Tuesday February 6, the Court of Auditors singles out the variation of French ski resorts to world warming. Although their existence is threatened by rising temperatures, they proceed to function on the identical mannequin, says the Court.
France is, nonetheless, a significant vacation spot for snowboarding, underlines the report. Mountain tourism represents 22.4% of nights booked in France, making France the second hottest vacation spot for winter tourism, after the United States. However, “the French economic model of skiing, designed in the 1960s, is running out of steam,” notes the president of the Court of Auditors, Pierre Moscovici.
A scenario which dangers getting worse since world warming has a extra severe impression on mountainous areas, with a warming of two levels on common, in comparison with 1.7 levels throughout France. For the second, unsurprisingly, low altitude resorts – significantly within the Southern Alps – and small areas are extra impacted. But this won’t be the case in the long run: “All stations will be more or less affected by 2050,” warns the Court.
Artificial snow, an unsuitable response
Faced with this phenomenon, the resorts' response “rests almost exclusively on snow production,” explains Pierre Moscovici. However, synthetic snow “only constitutes a transitory and relative protection against the effects of global warming”. Today, 39% of the French ski space is roofed by snow produced, specifies the Court of Auditors. Initially deliberate to compensate for the shortage of snow, this substitution course of is in the end used to “secure operations” and reassure vacationers who’ve booked their in a single day stays.
However, this manufacturing is excessively water and vitality intensive, along with being significantly costly: 45 million euros have been invested on common every year by the resorts within the manufacturing of snow over the past 5 years, which represents 13. 6% of investments.
Apart from the creation of synthetic snow, the variation insurance policies carried out thus far are “falling short of the issues raised”, estimates the previous Minister of the Economy, who judges the State's planning on this space ” incomplete” and “dispersed”. Resorts that invest in the adaptation of their area are equipping themselves, for example, with “summer sleds, zip lines or adventure activity parks and swimming areas”, details the report.
Increase in the price of packages under study
France is an exception in the global ski landscape since municipalities are generally responsible for the operation of the areas, an activity that they can delegate to a private service provider. The latter are largely subsidized by the state since ski lift services are considered public services. The 180 stations having generated a turnover of less than 15 million euros thus received around 124 million euros of public money per year, figures the Court. However, “public funding is largely oriented towards the ski economy”, deplores the report.
READ ALSO The tough adaptation of ski resorts to world warmingWith the proliferation of stations managed by small municipalities, “the current organization is not able to promote diversification”, decides the president of the Court of Auditors. He pleads for a grouping of resorts, like what is finished within the Dolomites, in Italy, the place twelve winter sports activities areas have joined collectively. A mannequin which might additionally permit extra worthwhile stations to finance the transformation of these which encounter extra difficulties. The report additionally plans to partially place the financing of this transition on customers by rising the value of packages, at present 56 euros per day on common.
However, these proposals elevate difficulties, given the present competitors between stations in the identical area. The Court of Auditors should submit, in a month, one other model of the report back to the President of the Republic and plead for long-term State motion.