Low-lying resorts look beyond skiing.

Fonction NEWS

A report by Swiss ski resorts, says global warming will force them to diversify or close.

Climate change experts have predicted a global warming of one to two degrees Celsius in the next 50 years.

A few months ago, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development warned that a rise in the snowline would jeopardise ski resorts below 1,000 metres, but the latest report--published by several resorts and written by a professor at Bern University--says resorts under 1,500 metres should be prepared to focus on summer attractions and year-round spa facilities.

The report says that without winter business, hotels stand to lose 25 per cent of overnight stays and cable lift companies, a third of their travellers.

All will contend with melting glaciers and the resulting possibility of water shortages and mud slides, it says, so it also advises resorts to consider preparing for natural disasters.

Winter sports bring millions of tourists and francs to the Alps every year, and many resorts now rely on the ski season for 70-80 per cent of their income.

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