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CR 46:1-14 (2011)  -  DOI:

Impacts of snow conditions on tourism demand in Austrian ski areas

Christoph Töglhofer1,2,*, Franz Eigner1, Franz Prettenthaler1,2

1Wegener Center for Climate and Global Change, University of Graz, Leechgasse 25, 8010 Graz, Austria
2Joanneum Research, Centre for Economic and Innovation Research, Elisabethstraße 20/II, 8010 Graz, Austria

ABSTRACT: Major research efforts have been devoted to studying the impacts of climate change on snow conditions in ski areas, including snow making as a technical adaptation strategy in recent years. However, little attention has been paid to quantifying past demand changes owing to short-term climate variability. This paper examines the impacts of snow conditions on tourism demand in 185 Austrian ski areas in the period 1972/1973 to 2006/2007. For the majority of areas, a positive relationship is found between overnight stays and snow conditions; however, overnight stays in higher-lying areas typically show no dependency on snow conditions. Instead, some of them negatively depend on average Austrian snow conditions. Overall, a 1 standard deviation change in snow conditions led to a change in overnight stays of 0.6 to 1.9%, with estimates from the most reliable panel data models of 0.6 and 1.1%. Impacts were significantly higher for particular regions and for extreme seasons. However, temporal analysis reveals that impacts have decreased in recent years, probably owing to the major increase in snowmaking.

KEY WORDS: Climate variability · Tourism · Snow · Regression analysis · Panel data · Austria

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Cite this article as: Töglhofer C, Eigner F, Prettenthaler F (2011) Impacts of snow conditions on tourism demand in Austrian ski areas. Clim Res 46:1-14.

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