Community Building research project - initial findings published in a white paper

January 17, 2024

Andermatt Swiss Alps AG, together with Bregaglia Engadin Turismo and the University of Applied Sciences Graubünden, is conducting a research project funded by Innotour (SECO). The aim is to research the development of sustainable communities in destinations in mountain regions and thus make a targeted contribution to the year-round revitalisation of tourist regions. The white paper scientifically summarises the current state of knowledge for interested parties.

Swiss destinations in mountain regions face the challenge of revitalising their communities all year round at the level of tourism and living space. One approach to minimising seasonal fluctuations in destinations and at the same time connecting tourism and living space is "community building". However, there is still little practical knowledge available on how destinations can specifically build (holistic) communities and consciously use them to revitalise their destinations.

The formation of resilient communities is one approach to minimising seasonal fluctuations in Alpine destinations. In the research project "Development of sustainable communities in destinations in mountain regions", "communities" are understood as networks with a group identity that are made up of different constellations of locals, second home residents, guests, employees and/or employers in destinations (in mountain regions).

The white paper from the three organisations shows that three areas are central to the development of communities - at the heart of every community is its understanding of identity, which is shaped by shared goals and values. Collective experiences emphasise the importance of rituals and traditions, while the structure creates the operational framework. Interpersonal encounters and interactions are essential for well-being and can therefore have a positive impact on the attractiveness of a living and tourist area.

The authors conclude that building and expanding a resilient community is time-consuming and costly. Communities require coordination, maintenance, and moderation, which in turn emphasises the targeted activation of individual community members.

White Paper

The white paper can be downloaded here (only available in German).

Andermatt Swiss Alps AG – Welcome home.

Andermatt Swiss Alps AG, with registered office in Andermatt, plans, builds, and develops the year-round destination of Andermatt. In 2009 Andermatt Reuss came into being, with apartment buildings, hotels, and villas. The Andermatt Swiss Alps Group owns the The Chedi Andermatt and Radisson Blu Reussen hotels, the holiday apartments Andermatt Alpine Apartments, an 18-hole, par-72 championship golf course and the Andermatt Concert Hall. A close partnership is in place with Andermatt-Sedrun Sport AG (Andermatt-Sedrun mountain railways, various restaurants, the Swiss Snowsports School Andermatt and the sport shop Gleis 0) and its majority shareholder Vail Resorts, Inc. for developing the destination. Vail Resorts, the largest operator of ski resorts, and Andermatt Swiss Alps are together pursuing the vision of becoming The Prime Alpine Destination. In doing so, they are committed to an intact environment and a sustainable future that will enable coming generations to have an extraordinary home. During high season, Andermatt Swiss Alps and Andermatt-Sedrun Sport AG have more than 1,000 employees working at the locations in Altdorf, Andermatt and Sedrun.

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