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Alpine summer tourism the mountaineers perspective and consequences for tourism strategies in Austria


, : Alpine summer tourism the mountaineers perspective and consequences for tourism strategies in Austria. Forest Snow and Landscape Research 81(1-2): 7-17

Mountaineers are a core group in alpine summer tourism, their demands and expectations are an essential foundation for tourism development strategies in mountainous regions. This paper is based on a survey in the Austrian Alps conducted in the year 2005 (N = 1189). The image of mountain sports in the media is often influenced by the extensive coverage on activities such as extreme climbing, paragliding or canyoning. However, this does not reflect the actual use patterns, as hiking is still by far the most important activity. Mountaineers are a very conservative group, usually well educated and of higher income. They perform this activity frequently and are generally satisfied with the current situation, thus sceptical towards any changes and management measures. Mountaineers accept lower comfort levels, e.g. on huts, as compared to their every day's life as part of a back-to-the-roots experience. If tourism development strategies want to attract new user groups, they need to comply with the demands of this core group.

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