Swiss Study Says Global Warming Will Shift Business Patterns

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SAM Magazine-Bern, Switzerland, Apr. 30, 2007-A study conducted by Bern University's Research Institute for Leisure and Tourism predicts a rocky ride for Swiss ski resorts over the next 25 years as global warming causes a shift to reduced business in winter and increased business in summer.

The study, commissioned by resorts in The Bernese Oberland to measure the likely impact of global warming on their business, concludes winter revenues will drop 30 percent by 2030, with temperatures rising a maximum of 1.8 degrees Celsius in winter and 2.6 degrees C in summers. However the study predicts summer business will increase and bridge the income gap for many mountain resorts in the region, which include Gstaad, Interlaken, Grindelwald, Wengen, Kandersteg and Interlaken.

The report indicates that winters like the one just passed will be the norm by 2030, with the snow level rising to about 5,000 feet above sea level. That would render skiing uneconomical at about a third of the canton's lower ski areas. But summers like that last year, when temperatures hit record highs in Switzerland, could lead to a boom in business as city dwellers escape to the cooler mountains.