Many Alpine ski resorts have closed or partially shut because of the lack of snow and high temperatures as Europe has seen what experts have said is “extreme” warm winter weather.
Here is a look at the impacted regions.
– Austria –
While the Alps have seen some snow starting to fall again, in Austria dozens of the country’s hundreds of ski resorts have closed, and many others have had to reduce services as of the weekend.
Bookings have been stable, according to Walter Veit, president of the Austrian Hotelier Association, which represents mostly high-end hotels, but may slump more than usual in January due to the warm weather.
Resort operators say they have seen fewer day trippers, while some have reduced ski pass prices to make up for the closed slopes.
– France –
Less than half of all slopes were open as of last week, according to Domaines Skiables de France, a professional body which groups 250 ski lift operators across the country.
Several winter sport events have also been cancelled, postponed or moved because abnormally warm temperatures have stripped mountain slopes of their snow covering.
In the Alps, the Tignes resort has been forced to cancel the Andros Trophy, a car and motorbike race on ice, on January 13 and 14.
In Contamines, further north along the Swiss border, the Telemark World Cup due to be held this month has been postponed to February.
In Chatillon-de-Michaille, a dog sled race called the Retordica due to be held this weekend has been cancelled.
In central Italy, ski resorts have closed with tourist operators from affected regions appealing to the government to find a solution. They have called for help with ski instructors out of work and canceled hotel reservations.
– Switzerland –
In Switzerland, about half of ski stations had to close fully or partially, especially smaller ones at lower and medium altitudes, as of last week.
Tourism officials said bookings in the mountains were the same as during the festive season last year, though day trips to the mountains were down eight percent.
Turnover of ski lift companies dropped nine percent year-on-year because of the mild weather, according to the organisation which represents 350 of the 500 ski lift operators in Switzerland.