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The development of railroad in the nineteenth century revolutionized Alpine Tourism
At the begining of the 20th Century Alpine Tourism reach a remarcable development, but it was restricted to a few major resorts, such as Zermatt, Grindelwald, Chamonix and St Moritz.
Summer tourism dominated Alpine tourism until the early decades of the twentieth century. A significant winter season was develop in the 1920s and the early 1930s, although the first ski course had been opened on Arlberg as early as 1904 At this moment ski facilities were introduced at Innsbruck and Kitzbühel in Austria. By 1924, 14 percent of the overnight-tourist stays in Tirol occurred in the winter season. In 1933 winter tourism share increased to 44 percent of the annual total. Alfons Walde
The expansion of ski tourism in the twentieth century has been dramaticly influenced by the aparition of the automobile and the aeroplane
First Generation of Ski Resorts At the begining of the 20th Century Alpine Tourism reach a remarcable development, but it was restricted to a few major resorts, such as Zermatt, Grindelwald, Chamonix, Megeve, Kitzbühel and St Moritz. In this places local conditions have been modified by tourists discovering the attractions of the Alpine environment. Tourism coexists with mountain agriculture and a strong pastoral economy. The driven forces for development has come from within strong rural communitieswith a tradition of local autonomy, and this has favoured community-based investment initiatives. Urban developers from outside the area play only a gradual and complementary role, providing, for instance, large hotels or capital for mountain railways and, then, lifts.
Until the 1930s, few ski resorts had any uphill transport capability specifically for skiers. Early railways and cogwheel trains were used primarily for summer visitors, but a few skiers took advantage of them to pursue their new sporting pastime. 1930 1930 1934
In 1930s mechanically propelled uphill lifts designed just for skiers was installed in the Alps, and North America.
In 1936, Union Pacific developed the first tourism-oriented ski resort in Sun Valley (Idaho).
After World War II the Ski Industry changed irrevocably.
Second Generation of Ski ResortsThe substantial increase in disposable income and automobile ownership in western Europe during the 1950s combined with rapid improvements in safer and more confortable ski equipment, better access to ski destinations brought on by the development of family automobiles, and rising standards of living resulted in the boom of mass tourism in the Alpine countries.
Pearce (1978) has proposed a two-fold classification based on the division of responsibility in the development process: “Integrated resorts” means development by a single promoter or developer with the exclusion of all other participation. “Catalytic developments” on the other hand are usually grafted on to existing settlements. Development occurs when the initial activities of a major developer generate complementary developments by other companies or individuals. The presence of existing dwellings, together with the multiplicity of developers and the less intensive nature of their projects, gives rise to a much more diverse an less concentrated resort. The range of accommodation types offered also broadens the base of the ski resort, and this may attract several different classes of visitor.
Case of Study Old agricultural communities such as Saas-Fee in the Valais Alps,which developed small summer resorts in the 1920s invested in ski facilities in the 1950s
At this moment skiing in a mass tourism context began to emerge and Ski resorts proliferated.
By the late 1940s and 1950s, the second phase of ski resort development took place in France with the opening of centers such as Courcheval, Meribel, and Tignes.Along with the availability of on-slope activities for skiing, off-slope amenities began to grow. Ski facilities and services associated with lodging, food, beverages, and entertainment became important components of the ski vacation experience.
Third Generation of Ski Resorts The large, high-elevation ski centers (the stations integrees or integrated ski resorts) that developed since the 1960s, particularly during the 1970s, were built with capital that came from banks and private corporations. All were supported by a tourism-planning program of a highly centralized government. All are consequence of the boom to capitalize the “white gold”Many centers in the French Alps are intensively developed winter ski resorts built at elevations of 1,800 or moremeters in deserted zones well above the valley communities. The prototypes of the high-intensity tourist centers are the French stations integrees and their counterparts in western Switzerland.
La PlagneLa Plagne, in the Tarentaise valley (France), is a typical example of an integrated ski resort. The ski resort was developed entirely by the SAP (Société dÁménagement de La Plagne), a develoment company formed by a group of Parisian banks.
AvoriazAvoriaz (France), is another example of an integrated ski resort.
The 1970s was a period of massive marketand product expansion.
The 1980s was a decade characterized by industry consolidation and product management. Influenced by changing demographics, skiing markets began to mature, and by the mid-1980s ski facility supply had outstripped demand in many regions, and many less well-managed ski destinations were experiencing financial difficulties.
Fourth Generation of Ski Resorts The Experiential resorts and the Big Corporations The “Ski & Mountain experiential resort” is partlya result of re-inventing and re-branding these ski resorts as a new kind of destination