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A beacon for sustainable tourism

The traditional fire across the Alps is a sign both of the vulnerability of Alpine regions and the courage to bring about change. © Reto Solèr

The second weekend in August will once again see the “Fire across the Alps” burning. In this, the UN Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, these watch-fires are intended to stimulate ideas as to the necessary changes for tourism in the Alps.

Winter tourism faces varying challenges in the Alpine countries. Everywhere, however, rising temperatures and changes in visitor behaviour now require new strategies and approaches. In its position paper, CIPRA demands change that would place the quality of life of both guests and locals at the centre of things. But this in turn needs high-level strategies that will include all areas of economic activity and life.

Over the weekend of 12-13 August, CIPRA Switzerland, the Alpen Initiative and mountain wilderness Switzerland are inviting contributions to address this change in tourism. The action will be accompanied by the whatsalp walking group. Since 1988 these fires in the Alps have become an annual message, calling both for the preservation of the heritage of the Alpine regions and resistance to the destruction of this sensitive ecosystem.

In addition to the events to be held in Switzerland and Austria, Slovenia too is supporting the action. As organiser, CIPRA Slovenia is putting the focus on mobility in tourism, with the intention of informing tourists and locals about the problems and challenges. As an example, some 80% of leisure trips in Slovenia are made by car. Their projects, “Driven by mountains”, “Timetables in the Alps” and “Actively to school”, are all aimed at encouraging “soft” mobility.

 

Sources and further information:

www.feuerindenalpen.com , www.aktivnovsolo.si (sl) , www.cipra.org/en/vozniredi2017 , www.cipra.org/en/positions/winter-tourism , www.whatsalp.org

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