Tourism of snow as development strategy in the Pyrenees (Spain)

T. Lasanta


Five alpine ski resorts were built in the Pyrenees between 1965 and 1976: Candanchú (with a previous history dating back to 1920), Formigal, Cerler, Panticosa and Astún. The aim was to develop tourist activities and improve a regressive socio-economical situation, in which the population abandoned progressively the area that had suffered a severe crisis in the Primary Productive Sector since the beginning of the XXth Century. In this paper two factors have been analyzed: i) the influence that ski resorts have had in the evolution of the human population, in demographic structure and in employment, and ii) the impact of the tourist sector on the Primary Productivity farms, and on the livestock census. The results obtained permit the conclusion that in the municipalities affected by the ski resorts, the population has grown 60.4 % between 1970 and 2008, showing a fairly balanced demographic structure and a concentration of employment in the sectors of Services (82.26 %) and building construction (13.1 %) whereas the primary sector only occupies 2.6 % of active population. The municipalities without ski resorts have lost 26.6 % of their population between 1970 and 2008, show an aged demographic structure and a high dependency level rate (55.7%) although the employment distribution is more balanced, with 19.5 % of workers in the primary sector. The evolution of the number of farms shows a greater decline in the municipalities with ski resorts (48 % between 1970 and 2008), than in those without ski resorts (22 % during the same period of time). Similar behaviour can be observed in the evolution of livestock census, where the municipalities with ski resorts have lost 43 % of their livestock while, on the contrary, the municipalities without ski resorts increased their census by 31.8 % during the same period.


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© Universidad de La Rioja, 2013

ISSN 0211-6820

EISSN 1697-9540