With an increase in hot days, tropical nights, and heat waves, assumedly more residents of large cities will seek rest and recreation in higher-altitude tourism destinations during the summer. This phenomenon is referred to as the revival of ‘Sommerfrische’ (summer freshness or summer retreat). This chapter examines the impact of climate change on summer tourism in the Alps by urban residents. It scrutinizes the historical perception of the term Sommerfrische, as well as the understanding and perception of this term today, based on an extensive literature review and two focus-group discussions. The findings form the basis for specifying the attributes that can be used to describe a modern form of Sommerfrische. The results indicate that today’s understanding of what Sommerfrische could be and the attributes of Sommerfrische travel are very different from the historical phenomenon. Nowadays, summer excursions and short trips to destinations close to cities are considered to be Sommerfrische as long as they have escape from the heat as a common motive. The results demonstrate the broad interest of urban residents in Sommerfrische and also suggest avenues for further research on the adaptative behavior of town-dwellers in hot summers with respect to the extent of their actual and potential future travel behavior.
This project was funded by the Austrian Climate and Energy Fund and is being implemented as part of the ‘8th Call Austrian Climate Research Programme (ACRP – KR15AC8K12464)’.
Weber, F., Juschten, M., Fanninger, C., Brandenburg, C., Jiricka-PÃ¼rrer, A., Czachs, C. and Unbehaun, W. (2018), "‘
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