With 350 ski resorts, mountain tourism in France ranks in the top 3 worldwide for frequentation of ski areas. The sector generates 20 billion euros per year, including 10.5 billion for the stations. The sector has been hit hard by the restrictive measures put in place due to the health situation.
On May 27, 2021, in Savoie, Prime Minister Jean Castex announced the launch of the “Avenir Montagnes” Plan , a project that offers a sustainable tourist offer without renouncing activities linked to skiing.
Towards a resilient tourism offer
The “Avenir Montagnes” plan(new window)“is the result of consultations in each of the massifs: Alps, Corsica, Jura, Massif Central, Pyrenees and Vosges. The closure of the lifts, necessary in view of the health situation, affected 18,000 direct and indirect jobs and 120,000 other jobs linked to the opening of the ski area Massive aid in the form of compensation has been released to support the areas concerned: they amount to nearly 5.4 billion euros.
Declined in fourteen measures , the “Avenir Montagnes” plan deploys a set of measures to support the territories concerned ” towards a more sustainable, more resilient tourist offer adapted to the diversity of mountain territories “.
The plan has three goals:
- take a new step in ecological transformation in massifs by enhancing the biodiversity of landscapes (revegetation of degraded sites, renovation of 1,000 kilometers of mountain trails, etc.);
- diversify the tourist offer and seek new customers (relaunch summer camps and mountain discovery classes, twin mountain schools and schools with those in the rest of the territory, develop a ” slow ” tourism offer. ..);
- boost leisure real estate and curb the formation of “cold beds” (50% of tourist beds) , these resort apartments unused for much of the winter while modernizing an aging housing stock.
This plan aims to develop ” sustainable tourism ” with different issues depending on the geographical location of the municipalities concerned (low, medium or high mountain). However, some elected officials fear that it will hamper their economic model based mainly on skiing.
In fact, it would rather be:
- to support existing activities so that they have a better environmental footprint;
- and to help the stations to set up activities making the mountain attractive during the three other seasons.
The fund ” Future Mountain ” who must answer to the structural challenges consists in particular of 300 million euros financed equally by the NS state and regions to support investment and 31 million the E State for to support regions in terms of engineering. This fund, totaling 650 million euros, should generate, thanks to the leverage effect, around 1.8 billion investments for some sixty territories spread over all the massifs.
Among the projects concerned, the recovery plan targets the creation of particularly expensive ” valley ” lifts and still rare in the French Alps in order to connect the valley bottoms to the resorts and to limit automobile traffic and thus the environmental impact of skiing. alpine.