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Water, Tourism and the Mountain

Call for papers : Deadlines. January 18, 2019 (abstract). April 30, 2019 (full articles). Guest editors : Emmanuel Reynard,, (IGD, Université de Lausanne) and Dominique Baud, (UMR PACTE - Université Grenoble Alpes).

Owing to their natural features (increasing rainfall with altitude, barrier effect), mountains are often rich in water and consequently serve as water towers for the surrounding areas (Viviroli et Weingartner, 2004). They may also represent pockets of drought (shelter situations) with scarce water resources. Moreover, they sometimes have major tourism activities that they have developed over more than two centuries. These activities often cause a spatial and temporal concentration of visitors at tourist resorts, which has led, on the one hand, to large fluctuations in water demand and, on the other hand, to uses that are specific to tourism activities Reynard, 2001). Finally, mountain regions are particularly sensitive to the effects of global climate change (Elsasser et Bürki, 2002 ; Beniston, 2003 ; Gobiet et al., 2014).

Following up on the symposium entitled "Eau et tourisme" ("Water and Tourism"), held in Sion/Sierre (Valais) on 9 and 10 November 2017 and organised by the University of Lausanne and the HES-SO Valais-Wallis, this special volume of the Revue de géographie alpine/Journal of Alpine Research will examine the relationship between tourism and water resource management (Gössling et al., 2012, 2015) in mountain contexts.

Two lines of research are proposed:

  • The impact of tourism on water management. On the one hand, tourism produces the spatio-temporal concentration of a temporary population; on the other hand, it generates certain specific uses (e.g., water for recreational activities, artificial snowmaking, irrigation of golf courses, development of aquatic landscapes for tourism) (Reynard, 2001 ; Vanham et al., 2009). Tourism can also create or exacerbate conflicts between water uses. We are particularly looking for contributions on specific uses, rivalries and water governance in tourist resorts.

  • Tourism, water and climate change. Depending on the seasonality, the altitude and the geographical position of the tourist resorts, climate change can represent a constraint (e.g. reduction in snow cover, conflicts over water use; Abegg et al., 2007 ; Beniston et al., 2012 ; Beniston et Stoffel, 2014) or a development opportunity (e.g. diversification of four-season tourism) for water management. In this context, this issue aims to explore the potential impacts of climate change on tourist activities and mountain water resources, as well as the efforts made by the populations of tourist destinations (political authorities, tourism stakeholders, civil society) to address these impacts.

The submitted articles must observe the journal’s scientific objectives, publishing principles and presentation guidelines. Rules of publication are available on the website.

In accordance with how the journal operates, each contribution will be read and anonymously evaluated by two to three peer reviewers.

Article proposals, around 600 words in length, should be sent in French (if the author is a native French speaker) OR in English (if the author’s mother tongue is any other language) by January 18, 2019 to Emmanuel Reynard,, (IGD, Université de Lausanne, Dominique Baud, (UMR PACTE - Université Grenoble Alpes) and Olivier Vallade, (Editorial secretary).

Final articles are expected by April 30, 2019. Publication of the articles is tentatively scheduled for early 2020.

Final articles must be submitted in one of the languages of the review: Alpine languages (French, Italian, German), Spanish or English. The author must see to the translation of the article into a second language before submitting the text. One of the two versions must be in English. If the article is submitted by a native English speaker, the second version must be in French.


Abegg B., Agrawala S., Crick F., de Montfalcon A., 2007.– Climate change impacts and adaptation in winter tourism. In : Agra-wala S. (ed.). Climate change in the European Alps. Adapting winter tourism and natural hazards management, Paris, OECD, 25-60.

Beniston M., 2003.– Climatic changes in mountain regions : A review of possible impacts. Climatic Change, 59, 5-31.

Beniston M., 2012.– Impacts of climatic change on water and associated economic activities in the Swiss Alps. Journal of Hydrology, 412-413, 291-296.

Beniston M., Stoffel M., 2014.– Assessing the impacts of climatic change on mountain water resources. Science of the Total Environment, 493, 1129-1137.

Elsasser H, Bürki R., 2002.– Climate change as a threat to tourism in the Alps. Climatic Research, 20, 253-257.

Gobiet A., Kotlarski S., Beniston M., Heinrich G., Rajczak J., Stoffel M., 2014.– 21st century climate change in the European Alps – A review. Science of the Total Environment, 493, 1138-1151.

Gössling S., Hall C.M., Scott D., 2012.– Tourism and Water. Bristol, Channel View Publications.

Gössling S., Peeters P., Hall C.M., Ceron J.-P., Dubois G., Lehmann L.V., Scott D., 2012.– Tourism and water use : Supply, demand, and security. An international review. Tourism Management, 33(1), 1-15.

Reynard E., 2001.– Aménagement du territoire et gestion de l’eau dans les stations touristiques alpines. Le cas de Crans-Montana-Aminona (Valais, Suisse). Revue de géographie alpine, 89(3), 7-19.

Vanham D., Fleischhacker E., Rauch W., 2009.– Impact of snowmaking on alpine water resources management under present and climate change conditions. Water Science & Technology, 59(9), 1793-1801.

Viviroli D., Weingartner D., 2004.– The hydrological significance of mountains : from regional to global scale. Hydrology and Earth Sciences, 8(6), 1016-1029.

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