The forecasts for ski tourism are poor, and the climate crisis threatens the existence of numerous ski operators across Europe. The reason: there is a lack of snow. The popular ski area La Sambuy in the French Alps is already taking action - and is terminating operations completely.
Jacques Dalex, mayor of the ski resort, which is particularly popular with families, explained in an interview with the US news channel "CNN" that skiing is simply no longer profitable: Instead of having snow from December to March, there is now only snow in the ski area "four weeks of snow, and even then not much snow."
The result: The ski slope is not accessible due to stones and rocks appearing and the operation has to be closed early. Last winter, the ski lifts in La Sambuy only ran for five weeks. According to Dalex, this means an operating loss of around 500,000 euros. And that every year in which the season runs accordingly.
From an economic point of view, this only allows one conclusion: ski operations will be stopped. Even as the ski season approaches, Dalex wants to keep the ski lifts shut down. And he fears that La Sambuy will not be the only place in the French Alps to suffer this fate, as he told CNN: "All winter sports resorts in France are affected by global warming."
A recent study shows that this applies not only to France, but to all of Europe. According to the report published in the journal "Nature Climate Change", 53 percent of more than 2,000 ski areas examined across Europe are massively threatened by climate change - and the trend is rising.
However, Mayor Dalex's measure is not well received everywhere. The association “All together for La Sambuy” is campaigning against the closure with a petition and is instead calling for a sustainable way to keep tourism going in the town of 7,500 people. So far there have been 1,900 signatures and the group also wants to take legal action. The last word about the descent in the family ski area doesn't seem to have been spoken yet. For this year, however, one thing is certain: the ski slopes of La Sambuy will remain closed for the time being.
Sources: CNN, La Sambuy