As usual for this season’s holidays, I returned to my hometown, Turin, which is the capital of the Piedmont region (NW Italy). The name means at the foot of the mountains. I remember when I was younger and until 1990s, this was the period when the majority of my friends were getting organised to spend the entire Christmas period on the Alps skiing. Little towns over there were prepared since the beginning of December for this nice invasion of people and a good economy had developed around this sport that regarded both adults and children.
A few days ago I landed in Turin and enjoyed a wonderfully clean sky with a Spring-like temperature of 20’C. Some TV programmes showed a few mountain towns on around 1,500-metre altitude virtually without snow whereas some others had it only thanks to artificially shooting frozen water to generate a minimum of snow to allow some skiing activities.
This is another example of climate change that is going to affect the environment, tourism and, economy.
Without snow on the Alps, at least at accessible altitudes, there won’t be (enough) tourists and this will put in danger the local economy of these towns as hotels, restaurants, ski schools, ski lift infrastructure companies, shops, transport, will have little/no income.
Shooting frozen water to generate some snow is costly and not sustainable for the environment, so it cannot be considered as the solution to this problem.
These towns are urged to reinvent themselves as the future will be more and more like the current days. Probably, specific EU funds should be designed to address this issue that affects many areas on Europe. As a matter of fact, without the tourism generated by skiers and without a new approach of exploiting (sustainably) mountains, many inhabitants will be forced to abandon these areas and this would be very bad for them, for keeping nature healthy and traditions alive.
We often read about the melting glaciers that certainly are a disaster, but also the lack of snow (one of the many effects of climate change) on mountains will threaten culture and economy of areas that boast centuries of tradition.
I wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy 2024!
EPN Consulting and EPN Consulting Research & Innovation Founder & CEO
P.S. The full DEC 2023 EPN Consulting Newsletter is available here.