Tourism has become one of the main sources of income in the Alps. Local populations, especially young people, increasingly depend on tourist activities for their livelihoods; this is why more than 40% of Alpine municipalities are actively engaged in the development of tourism. However, these economic activities can have a negative impact on the Alpine natural and cultural heritage. For these reasons, it is fundamental to "harmonize tourism and recreational activities whith ecological and social requirements", according to Article 2 paragraph 2(i) of the Alpine Convention.
In this framework, on May 25th, 2018, ALPARC held a workshop during the CIPRA annual conference in Bled (Sl). “Living and Working beyond Tourism” was a workshop seeking to identify the challenges young people encounter in the booming tourism industry.
Positive and negative effects of tourism were investigated together with Barbara Wülser (CIPRA International), Matej Ogrin (CIPRA Slovenia) and more than 30 participants. Negative impacts are especially relevant for local people whose quality of life is suffering due to reasons such as seasonal work and unreasonable working hours. These may also be some of the major reasons as to why young people do not necessarily want to work in tourism. Hence, the quest becomes urgent for new jobs solutions through job diversification, innovative job models and the provision of other ways of creating value. Next to cooperation, social interaction, new mobility schemes and infrastructure, it became clear that different and innovative education models are needed, which adapt to the specific needs of Alpine regions.
International networks such as ALPARC, CIPRA and AiDA may be the platforms on which to promote and to facilitate the exchange of good practices.
YOUrALPS is an Interreg Alpine Space project and lasts from November 2016 to October 2019. It is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg Alpine Space programme. ALPARC is the lead partner of the project.
For further information about the project, please visit the YOUrALPS website.