Now, modern adventure sports (mountain-biking, canyoning, or paragliding) and some motor-based leisure activities are entering areas previously untouched by tourism. This is causing major disturbances to wildlife in the Alps and poses very direct threats to biodiversity.
One of the most ecologically devastating forms of leisure activities in the Alps is winter ski tourism. There are currently about 300 ski areas throughout the Alps where 10,000 transport facilities serve more than 3,400 km² of ski areas. The construction of ski runs causes irreparable damage to the landscape. The increasing use of snow canons sets off additional problems by their use of water, energy, and chemical and biological additives.
But not all forms of tourism threaten Alpine nature. In fact, sustainably designed tourism can be used instead to promote the protection of natural areas in the Alps.
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