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Credit Suisse Report says Swiss ski resorts face bleak future

Santa Claus skiing

Can Santa Claus save the ski season?

(KEYSTONE/ VALENTIN FLAURAUD)

Climate change is the biggest threat to the survival of Swiss ski resorts, says bank Credit Suisse in a report published on Tuesday. 

By 2035 only a third of Swiss Alpine resorts will have enough snow in an average winter to offer skiing. Today, about 60% of Switzerland’s nearly 250 ski areas can make that promise.   

Mountain regions where tourism is a key driver of the economy are also up against stiff competition from sun and sand destinations, Credit Suisse said in its 'Monitor Switzerlandexternal link’. 

Over the past ten years, the number of Swiss choosing to spend their holidays abroad – in often sunnier, warmer locales - has increased by 22%. 

Read why Switzerland has a tough time attracting tourists

And even if Alpine regions can attract more tourists in summer by tapping into growing demand from Asia, the authors argued, it will not be enough to compensate for a drop in winter since the ski season accounts for about 80% of turnover. 

Taking a closer look at the Asian market, only two regions have benefitted – central Switzerland and the Bernese Alps. The two mountain regions most reliant on tourism, cantons Valais and Graubünden, haven’t be able to make up for the sharp decline in European visitors. 

The report warned that for the above reasons mountain resorts are facing impending structural change.

swissinfo.ch and agencies/db

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