Kleinskigebiete und Dorflifte in Südtirol: Welchen gesellschaftlichen Wert haben sie?
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SubjectResilience; Regional development; Local identity; Local development; Remote regions; Social policy; M-PED/01
South Tyrol (Northern Italy) has a special history as a border region and today a gross domestic product depending largely on tourism. Small ski areas and local village ski tows play their own role, especially for the local population. The present study examines local small-scale ski resorts and village ski tows and hypothesizes that they play an important role in community, local economy and for the local inhabitants, especially in remote and exodus-endangered areas. In addition, they act as a nursery for young athletes and offer sustainable alternatives in regional development in the sense of sufficiency. Locals and tourists discover them increasingly as niches where authentic experiences are possible in a safe and environmentally friendly framework. In South Tyrol, there are 38 of these small ski areas with local dimension or single village ski tows offering winter sports facilities mainly for the local population. Most of them were established in the 1950s and are therefore pioneers of winter sports in the Southern Alps. Nowadays, they are often located in remote areas that are considered structurally disadvantaged in terms of economic and tourism development. In a first step, these small ski resorts and single village ski tows were characterized according to socio-economic parameters. Key features include (1) the involvement of many local actors, (2) the provision of flexible job opportunities in peripheral areas, (3) the contribution to maintaining the local economy or employment opportunities, and a community-based lifestyle in remote and peripheral regions and (4) various recreational activities with an important social and educational function in peripheral areas exposed to rural exodus. In addition, the question of their importance for the training of young talents in winter sports arises. In the context of a local development program to maintain these small winter sports facilities, which started in 2012, the study asks what has happened so far in the development of these areas and what the responsible stakeholders’ key considerations for the future are.
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