Tourism in Mountain Regions - Hopes, Fears and Realities


Mountain regions across the globe are important tourist destinations. Today, there is practically no region in the world where the special qualities of mountains are not acknowledged by tourists. For many mountain regions, tourism has become an important economic resource, bringing new jobs and incomes, and supporting traditional systems that would otherwise be in serious economic crisis. Yet mountain tourism also has the potential to destroy the natural and cultural resources on which it is built. 

In mountains around the world, private and public actors, at local, national and regional levels, are working hard to develop and implement projectsthat initiate more sustainable and equitable development, promoting and, at the same time, protecting the natural and cultural specificities of mountains.

This 97-page publication, featuring 28 case studies from many mountain regions, aims to provide an overview of the challenges -socio-cultural, socioeconomic, environmental and sociopolitical- of tourism in mountains and to shed light on the specific innovative strategies that mountain communities have developed to cope with challenges of tourism. It presents a set of lessons learned and recommendations to inform associations, policy-makers, development experts, businesses and academics who support the development of tourism in mountain areas. It aims to enable mountain communities to learn from each other’s experiences, gathering inspirational ideas from around the world that further promote sustainable forms of mountain tourism.


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Author Bernard Debarbieux (UNIGE), Mari Oiry Varacca (UNIGE), Gilles Rudaz (OFEV), Daniel Maselli (SDC), Thomas Kohler (CDE), Matthias Jurek (UNEP).
Publication year 2014
Language English, Spanish

Themes: Green economy

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