To the sea in summer, to skiing in winter – right? Classic travel behavior is changing due to the energy crisis and weather uncertainty, Sustainability becomes more important. 3 well-known hoteliers tell how tourism and politics have to react.

Bye ski holidays & summer holidays: climate change as the end of seasonal tourism?

Climate change and tourism: A complex relationship

Travelers are looking for destinations that offer unique experiences and unforgettable, relaxing moments. At the same time, tourism and climate change have a complex and intertwined relationship. On the one hand, tourism makes an important contribution to the economic power of many countries. On the other hand, the pandemic has clearly shown how vulnerable it can be and it is growing in politics and in the face of rising temperatures and climate change Society awareness of the impact of travel on the environment.

Sustainability is from customers more and more in demand and is thus increasingly becoming the focus of many tourism providers. Sustainable tourism is thus becoming an important trend Objective consists in reducing the negative environmental and cultural impacts of tourism and at the same time positive Promote social and economic benefits to local communities. This is achieved through the Implementation sustainable practices, such as using renewable energy, preserving natural resources and promoting local culture and traditions.

How much the Climate protection Christian Bär, leaseholder and director of the Alpenhof Murnau, found out very impressively: During a visit by federal politicians, the ARD first asked him why the pool was steaming. Luckily, Bär had just invested 12 million euros in sustainability, including a combined heat and power plant, and was able to explain that the steaming pool even Energy saves. Another 8 million are to follow. Bär's ambitious goal: his 5-star hotel should become the most sustainable resort in Germany. "We have a great responsibility in this segment in particular," he makes clear.

Does sustainability work in a luxury hotel?

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He's doing it clearthat people tend not to think of sustainability when they think of a luxury hotel. But that is exactly what appeals to the district manager of DEHOGA Oberbayern, perhaps also because he faces challenges in the Family After all, Bär is the cousin or nephew of the ski world champions Felix and Christian Neureuther. For this purpose he has created a sustainability list with 140 points and also his 150 Employees integrated. “Only if the employees share our values authentic live, they can also pass this on to the guests". The feel-good factor of his employees is worth a lot to the hotel manager: "The hotel can also be experienced by the employees, there are also employee parties at the lake, paddling and swimming together and of course further training," Bär gives a little insight into his employer branding program. He also recruits many employees in the area, sometimes in cooperation with the local schools, trains them and is happy to release them to other hotels. "Many come back because they felt comfortable with us," says Bär.

This also applies to the guests, even if the hotel manager makes it clear that there are seasonal differences: "The Blue Land with its lakes is a classic summer destination, to which many Munich residents come for the weekend or families for summer holidays. In autumn and winter, on the other hand, the guests come who are looking for peace and to whom we make specific offers with our wellness area," explains Bär sein Concept for the cold season. "Anyone who has ever let their gaze wander over the Murnauer Moos to the Alps or has taken a solitary walk will understand that winter is the ideal time of year to recharge your batteries."

Bye ski holidays & summer holidays: climate change as the end of seasonal tourism?
Bye ski holidays & summer holidays: climate change as the end of seasonal tourism?

Unforeseen weather events lead to rethinking

Tourism professionals have long recognized the potential of winter tourism in summer destinations, and many destinations such as the Blue Land have invested in the development of winter activities and events to attract visitors during the cold months. As a result, wellness offers, for example, have become increasingly popular. However, there are still many summer destinations that have not yet exhausted the potential of winter tourism. By thinking outside the box and developing an understanding of what tourists are looking for in winter destinations, unique winter offers can be designed.

However, there are also climatic phenomena that are increasingly forcing the travel industry to reassess its traditional seasonal business model and to innovate Solutions to be found to manage the impact of climate change on tourism. The question even arises as to whether there are still classic summer and winter travel destinations. The answer is complex because the impacts of climate change on tourism are multifaceted and vary by location and type of tourism. But in everyone change However, there is always an opportunity: With the change of seasons, there is an opportunity to attract tourists and generate income even in the off-season. This approach requires a strategic shift in marketing efforts and infrastructure.

How do summer travel destinations become attractive in winter?

The Swiss entrepreneur also recognized this Dr. Stefan Kannewischer when he built the Spreewald Therme in Burg, Brandenburg, and later, at the explicit request of a customer, a hotel. The Spreewald with its green meadows and branching canals is more of a classic summer destination for cycling and paddling. With the construction of the thermal baths and hotel, the region also wanted to become attractive for winter tourism and promoted this Projects, which is very popular throughout the year, with public funds. Because thermal bath guests have long since not only stayed in the thermal baths, but also enjoy the gourmet offerings in the "Speisenkammer" restaurant or experience the icy canals on a Spreewald punt tour on a specially built chimney punt.

However, climate change also means that changes in weather patterns are increasingly leading to unpredictable conditions. These include, for example, extreme weather events such as heat waves, droughts and hurricanes, which have a significant impact on tourism and thus also on local tourism Economy can endanger. Resorts that rely on winter tourism are increasingly being hit hard by a lack of snow, and many have been forced to close or scale back operations. Likewise, summer floods or wildfires have resulted in the closure of beaches, hiking trails, and other summer attractions, severely affecting the tourism industry.

Can a thermal bath be run sustainably?

Climate and environmental protection is therefore also used for the purpose of self-preservation for tourismCompany increasingly important. And that requires appropriate expertise. Kannewischers Company, originally an engineering office, has been operating several thermal baths throughout Germany since the 80s. So it's no wonder that he is familiar with energy-efficient constructions: For example, in the Spreewald Therme and the associated thermal hotel, a combined heat and power plant is used, with which electricity and heat can be generated where they are consumed. If less electricity is needed at times, it can be fed into the public grid. During the construction of the Spreewald Thermenhotel in particular, care was taken to ensure that the energy requirement was as low as possible.

Years ago, for example, the standards of a passive house were taken into account with regard to insulation, windows and facade connections. Light domes, which use daylight as a natural light source, and energy-saving LEDs are also used. In the Emser Therme in Bad Ems, for example, the local very warm and abundant thermal water is used to save energy. Thanks to the geothermal conditions and a technical system that networks the plant systems for heat and energy recovery, the need for fossil primary energy could be reduced by 55 percent. All Kannewischer thermal baths are also insulated in such a way that the pumps and machines in the basement heat the floor above and you do not need your own underfloor heating. On the other hand, Kannewischer does not believe in lowering the water temperatures, as was propagated in many places during the energy crisis: “The effect of savings is small, but the economic damage is huge because the guests simply stay away.”

Bye ski holidays & summer holidays: climate change as the end of seasonal tourism?
Bye ski holidays & summer holidays: climate change as the end of seasonal tourism?

First mover engagement can be difficult

Anton Hörl, owner of the Hotel Salzburger Hof in Leogang, Austria, recognized the importance of sustainability long before climate change was on everyone's lips - and acted accordingly. For example, he draws his energy from his own wood chip system, solar panels and heat pumps t and there are not only charging stations for e-cars and an e-bike rental, but employees can also use e-cars in the car-sharing process. At the very beginning have him be Commitment faced certain challenges: "For example, when we started with the plastic-free breakfast buffet, we had trouble finding suitable products at all," he says.

Meanwhile he gives him Success, for which he received the Austrian eco-label, among other things. Skiing, which is often demonized in the media, is also more environmentally friendly than some other sports, since snow cannons, for example, use comparatively little water. Accordingly, Hörl's latest project is to make skiing even more environmentally friendly: The cable car, which is only a few meters from the hotel, is to be completely energy self-sufficient with solar energy - for which a law in the state of Salzburg has yet to be changed.

How can ski areas also be used in summer?

This is a good example of governments and tourism organizations in many regions Significance of sustainable tourism as a means of combating climate change. As a result, eco-friendly policies are now actively being promoted in many places to reduce carbon emissions and preserve the environment for future generations. But the wheels of bureaucracy grind slowly. Hörl already experienced this when he and a few colleagues initiated the creation of a biker park in order to use the mountain railways and ski slopes, which until then had mainly been used in winter, for tourism in the months without snow. "Everyone was against it at first, the first three years were bad, but then the number of visitors exploded and the success proved us right," says Hörl.

Because the conversion of classic winter destinations in the snowless summer is a challenge for many regions. As summer approaches, many ski resorts seem desolate and desolate, with their soaring peaks and snowy slopes. Ski resorts can offer a unique escape from the summer heat, with cooler temperatures, fresh mountain air and clear mountain lakes providing a welcome respite from stuffy city life and a great way to experience the stunning natural beauty of mountain regions free from snow and cold. Also, ski resorts tend to be less crowded in summer, meaning tourists can benefit from lower prices and enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere.

Mobility as a problem? Travel behavior needs to change

As the effects of climate change become more evident, the tourism industry has a crucial role to play in mitigating the effects. Cooperation between governments, tourism companies and tourists themselves is necessary to create long-term solutions that prioritize sustainability.

One way to achieve this is through climate-conscious travel, that is, making more environmentally friendly choices when traveling Planning and travel arrangements. This could mean taking the train or an electric car travelinstead of flying, that you are staying in eco-friendly accommodation and that you are supporting local businesses committed to sustainability. Not only the tourism companies are in demand, but also the politicians.

For Anton Hörl, for example, the greatest is ecological Problem of tourism: "Many guests would like to travel by train, but on an important inner-Austrian connection there is only a slow train to Leogang, with Deutsche Bahn delays are increasing and in the end there is no bus to pick up the guests", he is annoyed about the lack of flexibility of the transport companies. "We were already further along, for example the luggage transport actually worked quite well." His conclusion: "Only if politicians are willing to promote climate-conscious travel can we make a difference together."

Bye ski holidays & summer holidays: climate change as the end of seasonal tourism?
Bye ski holidays & summer holidays: climate change as the end of seasonal tourism?

Conclusion: Sustainability and climate change can be a real opportunity for tourism

In summary, tourism and climate change have a complex relationship that is shared by travelers and professionals alike Industry awareness and Measures requires. As the effects of climate change continue around the world Welt are felt, classic summer and winter travel destinations may no longer be reliable options for travellers.

However, this is an opportunity for the tourism industry to adapt and innovate by offering sustainable and responsible travel options that prioritize the protection of our planet's natural resources and cultures. However, tourism professionals should not be left alone by politics. Only if everyone works together can we ensure that future generations can continue to explore and enjoy the beauty of our world without causing irreparable harm.

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