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Many ski resorts in the Alps are trying to create four-season tourism

Many ski resorts in the Alps are trying to create four-season tourism

Eleven French and Swiss Alpine villages are trying to create a four-season tourist season. Cross-country running and electric mountain bikers also conquer trails and peaks outside of ski season. At Portes du Soleil, the largest cross-country ski area in the world.

“From the Swiss side, we find ourselves on the French side with one pedal,” says Thierry Favre.

Florian tries out two new sports that have been proposed between spring and autumn as part of the “Portes du Soleil summer renewal” programme. Including eight French and three Swiss settlements Champéry also participates in this in the European project. The goal is for visitors to discover the natural heritage and to attract new clients. At the same time, climate change is also here.

“I’m not used to riding electric bikes at all,” says Florian Legrand. “It’s a very nice sport… Here, for example, you can try it while you can see the mountains, like when skiing. In other seasons, it’s a good complementary sport.”

The total project budget is 1.5 million euros, of which just over 600 thousand (610,616) was provided by the European Cohesion Policy, and the remaining 46.5% by France and Switzerland.

During the summer, 12 ski centers with 25 lifts operate.

In addition to mountain bike tours, 55 hiking trails can be used across the border, which are also available as part of the “Portes du Soleil summer regeneration” project. Florian tests Route 41 with two cross country champions, Gaël Sierre and Aurelien Bouvard Close to La Chapelle d’Abondance.

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All of these tours are free. Exploring the region outside the ski season attracts more and more people. Benoit Clorec, project coordinator, shares some data with us:

“If we take mountain biking, 1,700,000 passes have been purchased from us this year. More than 800,000 people have arrived on foot, and have been able to ‘navigate’ the area thanks to the ski lifts.”

Professionals who live near the mountain According to the summer season, this summer in Champéry a The temperature reached 29 degrees. Thus, the development of sustainable tourism benefits those who have a ski resort business, like the owner of this restaurant.

“Because of Covid, attendance has dropped dramatically. We are now having energy problems. That is why I think it is important to extend the offer to all seasons of the year,” says Jeremy Olivier, owner of La Croix du Culet.

A breath of fresh air near infinity…

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