French Ski Area Diversifies to Become Year Round Tourist Destination

Posted on 10 August 2012

A ski area in the French Alps is considering diversifying in order to cope with climate change, and if it decides to go ahead will focus its attention on low-impact alpine activities.

The current mayor of Biot, Henri-Victor Tournier, wants to clear away the cable towers from the 1,230 m high resort of Drouzin-le-Mont before the elections in two years’ time as he feels there is plenty to do in the mountains and that people will still want to spend their holidays in the resort. He envisages maintaining two drag lifts but wants to focus more on snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and mountain biking and hiking to promote the area to families.

Biot is in the Corbier Pass and is near to well-known ski areas such as Avoriaz and Morzine that have far more ski slopes and are known for having reliable snow conditions. This problem is one facing a number of medium altitude ski resorts throughout Europe, as many have unreliable snow conditions causing tourists to book their holidays elsewhere.

Officials in Biot feel many of these resorts have no real future due to climate change, and that the earlier an area transforms itself the better it will be for them. Drouzin-le-Mont has been open since 1973 but has become less profitable in recent years.

This decision to diversify isn’t likely to be popular with everyone, as it is estimated holiday homes and apartments could lose some of their value. In spite of this many ski resorts are highly successful as year round destinations, attracting huge numbers of tourists who enjoy mountain biking and hiking.