Tourism in the Swiss Alps: The Human Factor in Local Development

  • Walter LeimgruberEmail author
Part of the Perspectives on Geographical Marginality book series (PGEO)


Most mountain regions in the world are also marginal regions. Exceptions are those areas that are either of central importance for transit traffic, special industries, or tourism . However, none of these activities is necessarily stable over time. Traffic routes may change through technology (such as tunnels replacing pass routes), industries may lose their resource base or become less competitive, and tourism depends on the economic situation in the countries of origin and on exchange rates. Creativity is therefore important for local and regional inhabitants in order to survive and create a stable basis of living. While niche products have become one possibility for mountain farmers, more imagination is demanded when it comes to the other economic sectors. Individual actors often play an important role in such cases. The chapter discusses three cases of tourism and recreation in the Swiss Alps that demonstrate the importance of the cooperation on all scales, from local to international. It shows that inhabitants of mountain regions are not narrow minded when it comes to take decisions that are related to their survival. However, the risks are considerable, and they may also result in certain persons coming into conflict with the law.


Tourism Landscape dynamics Globalization 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geosciences, GeographyUniversity of FribourgFribourgSwitzerland

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