Morzine Case Study

The impact of tourism

Activity and Research 9

9. The impact of tourism

Tourism is vital to the economy of Morzine

Tourism is vital to the economy

of Morzine - French alps


It is important to understand that tourism is vital to the economy of Morzine. It is the major industry and many people in the town are employed, either directly or indirectly in tourism. Without tourism the community would suffer greatly.



Ticket Reservations Kiosk

Ticket Reservations Kiosk

Morzine - French alps


About 3,000 people live in Morzine and there are 21,000 tourist beds available in hotels, chalets and apartments.

Since the town began to develop as a winter sports destination and later as a summer destination as well, more and more facilities have been provided for tourists. Nearly all of the accommodation in Morzine has been developed by local families.

Most of the shops selling and hiring sports equipment are run by local people.

Gravier Ski Shop

Gravier Ski Shop

Morzine - French alps

Sports Hire Equipment - Morzine - French alps

Sports Hire Equipment

French alps















All of the apartment blocks and chalets which have been built in recent years have been built by local building firms. This means that most, but not all, of the money spent by tourists in Morzine stays in the area.

Building Materials

Building Materials

Morzine - French alps

Building under construction - Morzine - French alps

Building under construction

French alps

Local people are employed to operate and maintain the lift system during the winter sports season and during the summer season. This has required people to learn new skills. When the lifts are not in operation, these people work as farmers or builders, so they usually have more than one job.

Nearly all of the ski instructors and guides are local. Local people are also employed in shops and supermarkets and as bus drivers.

Efficient lifts

Efficient lifts

of Morzine - French alps

As in all winter sports resorts, the quality of the landscape is often spoilt by the lift system which has been constructed over the years. However, without this system the resort would not be as attractive to tourists, so a balance has to be struck. In order to minimise the impact on the environment, older lifts are being replaced by more efficient lifts.

Morzine does not have the same problems with anti-social behaviour that is common in many coastal resorts. Many of the visitors are in family groups and the younger people are either winter sports enthusiasts or enjoy mountain biking in the summer. They want to spend their time on the mountain rather than ‘partying’ until the early hours!

Activity 9

In all tourist destinations there is a range of positive and negative impacts.

Many people would agree that in Morzine the positive impacts outweigh the negative, but not everyone would agree!

Drop the impact in the list below into the correct box in the table.

Additional research
Winter sports are often said to cause widespread environmental damage.  Investigate the environmental impact of winter sports in other destinations and identify some of the measures which have been taken to reduce the negative impacts.