Online Geography Resources


Tourism - The Alpine Ski Industry

IB DP Geography
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Base Knowledge and Understanding

Base knowledge and understanding

Video Clip
Data Visualization
Definition mass movements
aesthetic change
land degradation
avalanche corridors
News Article
Words to be defined
Base Level



The aims of this lesson:

  • To be able to examine the opportunities and challenges posed by the development of tourism and any associated settlement and communications in one type of extreme environment - focusing upon the alpine ski industry in high mountain, glacial environments.
  • Examine the impacts of tourism on the environment, such as mass movements and erosion, land degradation, vulnerability to hazards, aesthetic change, water usage and waste disposal.
What are the opportunities posed by the development of tourism in the Chamonix valley - a French town/valley in a high mountain environment?
Geography Activities
Geography Activities

Task One: Challenge task

You have five minutes to find a fact that reveals the value of the European ski industry.
Geography Activities
Geography Activities

Task Two: Opportunities and Challenges: Two Degrees from Meltdown - The Final Call

Chapter 1: Two Degrees from Meltdown - Chamonix, France - Pages 1-26
Geography Activities
Geography Activities

Task Three: Opportunities: Money and Development

Looking down on Chamonix from near the summit of Le Brévent (2525 metres).
  • The international arrivals in the Alps may add up to about 30 million, or a little less than 4% of world’s total number (806.8 million in 2005) and almost 7% of the European ones. [Source]
  CIPRA - What Role Do the Alps Play within World Tourism? - Fabrizio Bartaletti, University of Genova - Institute of Geography
  Ski Paradise - Size is important in the Ski Industry [24 February 2008]
Geography Resource
  Savills International - Mark snapshot - The Alps [Pages 2, 3, 5 and 6]
Geography Activities
Geography Activities

Task Four: Challenges: Mass Movements / Avalanche Hazard

Extreme Environments - memorial to the 12 people who died in the 1999 Montroc Avalanche, Chamonix Valley, France
Hyperlink - Montroc Avalanche
Geography Activities
Geography Activities

Task Five: Challenges: Aesthetic Change

Can you spot the ski resort?
Aiguilles Rouges Panorama
Extreme Environments: the impact of the ski industry - Le Brévent, Chamonix Valley, France
Tourism and the Landscape
Extreme Environments: Sustainability? - Le Brévent, Chamonix Valley, France
Geography Activities
Geography Activities

Task Six: Challenges: Water Usage

  Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research - Technical snow
Snow Cannon on the valley floor, Chamonix
Sustainability in Extreme Environments: Artificial reservoir for snow canons, La Flégère, Chamonix Valley, France
Sustainability in Extreme Environments - La Flégère High Altitude Reservoir, Chamonix Valley, France
Geography Activities
Geography Activities

Task Seven: Challenges: Waste Disposal

Geography Review



Discuss the main environmental problems caused by tourism in one extreme environment. [10 Marks]

The markbands can be found here - you need to look at Paper 2.

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