Tourism is one of the most important economic factors in the Alpine region. Every year, more than 150 million guests spend their free time and holidays in the Alps, which are among the most notable tourist destinations worldwide. This is connected with increased energy consumption, meaning that Alpine tourism is not just affected by climate change, but also contributes to it.
The hotel and catering industries thus represent a promising starting point for advancing climate protection in Alpine tourism. These businesses are primarily older and smaller enterprises with generally unfavourable energy standards. Even basic efficiency technologies are rarely in use, although the initial costs of energy efficiency measures are often recouped within a short timespan, and deliver high returns on investment in the long-run thanks to long working lives. In this way, hotel and catering operators can simultaneously take on responsibility for protecting the climate and environment, while also realising tangible competitive advantages.
The German presidency of the Alpine Convention, whose guiding principle is "Green Economy", is thus seeking to put a much sharper focus on climate protection and energy efficiency as competitive advantages and contributions to sustainable business models. It is against this background that adelphi is organising a workshop on "Sustainable Economy in the Alpine Region: Climate Protection and Energy Efficiency in the Hospitality and Catering Sector". The workshop is intended to offer tourism associations a platform for exchanging their perspectives and approaches with one another and with further stakeholders, to sensitize them to the great potential for cost savings through energy efficiency measures, and to initiate a lasting, transnational exchange of experiences. In addition, adelphi is developing a multi-lingual online guide, to be hosted at least through 2018, that will build on the results of the workshop to provide a lasting survey of the various climate protection initiatives in the Alpine region.