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Ski Mountains Turn Green For 2008

Oct 13, 2007
If ever there was an industry that needed global warming not to be true, it has to be the ski industry. No snow, no skiing, and the skiing industry would belong to a sporting museum.

So perhaps it comes as no surprise that one European country which relies on the ski industry trade more than most others has decided to ditch traditional print brochures for the internet only.

Andorra is a small country with borders that meet both France and Spain, set in the Pyrenees mountains. Andorra is best known for two things - her status as a tax haven, and for attracting ten million tourists a year, mostly for skiing in her mountains.

The Vallnord ski area which includes the well known resorts of Arinsal and Ordino decided to stop producing traditional holiday brochures as a sign of its commitment to the environment, with the hope that visitors would find sufficient information on the internet, and book their ski holidays on-line.

The decision to move from print media to new technology to benefit the environment comes at a risky time for Andorra's ski resorts. The 2006/7 season was not a good one with a drop in tourists for the first time in recent years. This despite the fact that Andorra opened a new family friendly ski park in Arinsal, moving away from her old image of a cheap and cheerful ski holiday for 18-30 year olds to one that caters well for all. The snow park includes a conveyor belt and a game zone, designed to give children confidence before they ski and use the chair lifts.

While the snow would often start in early November before this ski season, disastrously no sustained snow periods arrived until March this year. No official figures have been released yet as to how many tourists visited this year, but some officials are reported to be guessing at a year on year fall of ten per cent, and some are blaming it on environmental changes and global warming. Private businesses suggest the figure could be closer to forty per cent. Given that private businesses see financial figures on a daily basis most people in the Andorra tourist industry are veering towards the higher forty per cent figure rather than what could be an optimistic official estimate.
Despite good snow in mid March and full occupancy at Easter, it was decided not to prolong the agony of Andorra's worst tourist season for a generation, and the slopes were closed at the end of the Easter holidays, some three weeks earlier than some previous ski seasons.

The good news for Andorra is that the scare of global warming might have been just that, as snow fell in Soldeu in late September, bringing hope that the 2008 season will be good for natural snow - and the ski resorts can claim to have done their bit to help the environment!
About the Author
For holiday information Andorra, including the ski resorts and Andorra ski holidays visit YourAndorra.com

Andorra is three hours away from Barcelona and Barcelona airport, and the guide includes cheap hotels in Barcelona plus other information for those considering Andorra skiing holidays this winter sports season.
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