Contemporary development directions of ski resorts in Poland in the context of the idea of sustainable development




climate change, development, ski resorts, ski tourism, sustainability


The consequences of climate change, the demographic processes and the competition between tourist destinations are a serious threat to the profitability of ski resorts and the sustainable development of many towns and regions. The aim of the article is to examine the state of infrastructure development for downhill skiing in Poland, and to determine contemporary directions for the development of ski resorts from the point of view of ensuring the achievement of sustainable development goals. Methods used in the research process were: inventory of ski infrastructure, field observation as well as analysis of the websites of ski resorts and their profiles posted on social media. In the 2019/2020 winter season, there were 769 ski lifts, including 119 aerial lifts, with a total length of 302.9 km and a transport capacity of 625,500 people per hour, as well as 826 ski runs with a total length of 445.7 km. Among the 171 localities equipped with ski infrastructure the best developed were: Białka Tatrzańska, Bukowina Tatrzańska, Krynica Zdrój, Szczyrk, Wisła and Zakopane in the Carpathians, and Duszniki Zdrój, Karpacz and Szklarska Poręba in the Sudetes. Actions taken by ski resorts in Poland in the context of sustainable development related to eliminating the negative effect on the environment of ski infrastructure, among others by improving the quality and technology of ski lift equipment and snowmaking systems, to maintaining the profitability of ski resorts while preserving an appropriate thickness of snow cover, and increasing their financial effectiveness by creating new products and tourist attractions in the summer season, as well as to meeting the expectations of tourists so as to ensure their satisfaction with their stay.


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Author Biography

Kinga Krzesiwo, Pedagogical University of Kraków, Poland

Kinga Krzesiwo, PhD, Pedagogical University of Krakow, Institute of Law, Economics and Administration, Department of Tourism and Regional Studies. She received her MA and PhD in the field of socio- economic geography at the Institute of Geography and Spatial Management of the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. The main sphere of the author’s research interests focuses on the issues of development and functioning of tourism in mountain areas, with particular emphasis on ski tourism. Her scientific publications concern, among other matters, tourism attractiveness and competitiveness, development and functioning of tourist destinations in mountain areas in Poland, development of ski tourism in the light of the idea of sustainable development, methodology of tourism research, marketing aspects of tourism enterprises, customer service in tourism, and attitudes of Polish customers towards food waste in restaurants.


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How to Cite

Krzesiwo, K. (2023). Contemporary development directions of ski resorts in Poland in the context of the idea of sustainable development. Studies of the Industrial Geography Commission of the Polish Geographical Society, 37(3), 85–108.