So what exactly is Responsible Skiing? It is simply applying the principles of Responsible Tourism to the ski industry - and by that I mean all wintersports tourism.
Many people look at the downhill ski industry and take the view that it ruins the environment, consumes vast amounts of energy and cannot possibly be in harmony with the principles of Responsible Tourism.
Responsible Tourism must balance environmental protection with economic benefits to local residents and the fact remains that the downhill ski industry has been the saviour of many mountain communities and traditions, halting the depopulation of the mountains that was occurring at the end of the 19th Century.
Tourism in ski resorts faces many of the same issues as tourism elsewhere; concerns about development, the social impacts on the community, pressures on transport, infrastructure and the environment and the greater consumption of energy and water and the resulting increases in waste.
Yes, mistakes have been made in the past with certain resort developments, however what matters is moving forward and doing what we can now. I believe that wintersports can be managed well and in accordance with the principles of the Cape Town declaration on Responsible Tourism:
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