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Monday November 20, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

An expert on the future of winter sports has laid out the steps he says are needed to protect alpine tourism in the years ahead.




Professor Ralf Roth, director at the Institute of Outdoor Sports and Environmental Science in Cologne says snowsports must become less elitist and more inclusive.

"Simple, affordable and cost-efficient winter-sports opportunities for household incomes up to 2000 euros - do more in the way of variety and social diversity," he says.

"Winter sports must become more inclusive for everyone!"

Professor Roth was giving the keynote speech at an industry meeting, "Your Winter. Your Sport".

His remarks are reported by the website of the international sports trade fair ISPO.

Professor Ralf RothProfessor Ralf Roth - photo














"Snow is an irreplaceable selling point," says Roth.

"But in the last five to seven years, a lot has changed.

"Before, only ski resorts were planned; today it's all about multi-functional spaces.

"For the future, it's important to not just develop the venues but also make sure the social challenge is met."

Roth says there are seven key steps the industry needs to take:
  • Attract children, teenagers and adults to winter sports
  • Optimise winter sports settings for schools, clubs and families
  • Lower the dropout rate
  • Think and act with regard to sports in general
  • Offer winter sports opportunities close to residential areas
  • Increase interest - improve image - more emotion
  • Develop year-round offers

Roth also says that the changes in climate, weather and snow are undeniable.

Soelden, AustriaSölden, Austria - December 2016
















"When we talk about winters without snow, we actually always mean: Christmas without snow. Say goodbye to the idea that Christmas will always be white.

"The warm winters of today will become the norm in the future".

For more on Professor Roth's remarks, go to


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