Climate change and winter outdoor activities in Austria

Publikation aus Life
Wetter- und Klimarisikomanagement

Robert Steiger, Andrea Damm, Franz Prettenthaler, Ulrike Pröbstl-Haider

, 9/2020


Winter tourism is an often-mentioned example of industries with high sensitivity to climatic changes. Existing reviews are either focusing on one activity and/or type of tourism or represent a global overview. What is missing are regional or country-specific assessments of both climate change impacts on winter tourism and this sector's contribution to climate change shedding light on potential vulnerability and adaptation as well as mitigation options of this economic sector. This paper contributes to fill this gap by investigating Austrian winter tourism's vulnerability, adaptation to and mitigation of climate change. The paper at hand is part of a special report on tourism, which has been developed by leading research institutions in Austria supported by selected experts and stakeholders. Research and communication needs are addressed including the need for climate risk assessments for businesses, research on tipping points in tourism demand as well as opportunities for non snow related tourism products and needs of non-skiers. As evidence on the sector's contribution to CO2 in Austria is scarce, better knowledge of the status quo and monitoring is required.

Keywords: climate change, winter tourism, adaptation, mitigation, contribution to climate change, Austria