Background

Mountain regions are vulnerable environments of high ecological, cultural and socio-economic value, delivering ecosystem services such as recreation or drinking water far beyond the mountainous topography.

Mountain regions are at the forefront of experiencing climate change at a much faster pace than the world average. Broader environmental and socio-economic changes further increase their vulnerability.

Human activities, in especial tourism, traffic, agriculture and land destruction need to be balanced well in order to enable resilient and sustainable development in alpine regions.

In order to incubate and support sustainable development of tourism as a key industry in many alpine regions, the 1st symposium of the Sustainable Mountain Tourism Alliance (SMTA) in January 2015 in Chur invited tourism stakeholders from mountain regions worldwide to mainstream existing and collaboratively develop new efforts in promoting and implementing sustainability in mountain tourism.

This was the start of building the SMTA as a meta-network for enabling better cooperation and coordination of measuring and communication efforts in sustainability in mountain regions.

The 2nd Symposium in Chamonix in January 2016 focused on further building a meta-network and developing concrete next steps of action to achieve in 2016.

The scheduled 3rd Symposium will take place in January 2017 in the community of Ostana, Valle di Po, Cuneo, Italy.