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MOUNTAIN-SKIING TOURISM IN CANADA
Abstract. The research deals with the peculiarities and development of Canadian mountain-skiing tourism, its role in the tourism infrastructure of the country. The article also contains a characteristic of the main mountain-skiing resorts in Canada.
Key words: Canada, mountains, tourism infrastructure, mountain-skiing tours, mountain-skiing tourism.
Mountain-skiing tourism has always been popular among tourists, and nowadays it is embracing more and more customers. Its development contributes to the state budget revenue increase, improvement of investing climate, and extension of the state infrastructure. Apart from that, mountain-skiing tourism is of the great importance, and provides an extensive variety for tourists. Natural conditions that have been formed in the country directly influence the development of this kind of tourism. Thus, it is getting more and more attention of travelers and is gaining a bigger demand in Canada. A positive experience in the development of Canadian mountain-skiing tourism may be adapted and employed in Ukraine.
Literature review. A modern stage of the mountain-skiing development research involves the studies of such scientists as V. Kyfiak, P. Masliak, I. Smal, etc. They have contributed to the study of the mountain-skiing tourism distinguishing the importance of the mountain-skiing research in general. However, it is essential to study and provide characteristics of certain peculiarities of the development of mountain-skiing tourism in Canada. It determines the academic topicality of the research.
The purpose of the article is to investigate into the peculiarities and development of the Canadian mountain-skiing tourism.
The article aims at completing the following tasks:
• to define the term ‘mountain-skiing tourism’;
• to investigate into the peculiarities and development of mountain-skiing tourism;
• to analyze the importance of development of this type of tourism in the state;
• to provide the characteristics of the mountain-skiing destinations.
The research subject is the Canadian mountain-skiing tourism.
Mountains take a vast area of terrestrial parts of the world, being main ecotourism representative. According to the study of the World Center for Monitoring and Conservation of Environment, the area of terrestrial mountainous parts of the world is 35.9 million square kilometers, or 24.3% of the entire Earth’s surface. Approximately 24% of the planet population are the residents of highlands . Accordingly, mountains create a peculiar tourism type – mountain skiing – that has been a crucial resource for tourism development.
Mountain skiing is one of the traditional and most popular types of tourism around the world. Luxury mountain-skiing resorts have been created in the countries of Europe, Middle East, the USA, and Canada. These resorts provide special conditions for mountain skiing and extreme sports (pistes, ski jumping, snowboarding, etc.) along with comfortable and safe skiing at well-prepared gradual descents .
This kind of tourism to a greater extent corresponds to modern social and economic realia. Not only is it prestigious but also enables to spend free time in an interesting, resourceful, and healthy manner. Apart from that, age and social range of this active rest is extremely extensive. It is available to small children as well as pensioners, students, magnates, politicians, and housewives .
Mountain-skiing tourism belongs to special types of tourism as it combines the elements of therapeutic, recreational, sports amateur and ecological types of tourism. According to the tourist product formation type, mountain skiing is an investment-based and labour-input type of tourism which incorporates a range of peculiarities that distinguish it from the other, simpler, types. First and foremost, it is essential to focus on the patterns of the travellers’ resort stay. Tourists are accommodated in specialized hotels like mountain chalets, architecturally inserted into the surrounding landscape. Ski lifts of such kinds as rope tow, chair lift, cabin lift or gondola lift are to function near the hotels. Furthermore, hotels are located near the pistes that are divided into green, blue, red, and black ones according to the extent of complexity.
The scope of extra services plays a crucial role in mountain-skiing tourism. By this, we mean the coach services, outfit renting, and ski pass. Medical insurance is also of great significance for mountain-skiing tourism. As a rule, insurance premium is 2.5 times higher in comparison with the ordinary types of tourism. Despite the fact that mountain-skiing tourism is an expensive type of tourism, the number of mountain tourists is growing annually.
The regions of Canadian Pacific coast along with Coast and Rocky Mountains are the most popular among the mountain-skiing sports enthusiasts. There are several mountain-skiing resorts on the outskirts of Vancouver, such as Cypress Mountain, Grouse Mountain, and Seymour Mountain. The Big White resort is located in the southern province, 55 km from Kelowna city with Red Mountain resort in the neighborhood.
The Fernie Mountain, Kicking Horse, and Fairmont Hot Springs resorts are located in the Rocky Mountains (British Columbia). A traveler may get there from Golden City. It is essential to focus on the popular mountain-skiing Kimberley Resort. Annually, approximately 4 meters of snow falls here, and skiing area starts at the level of 1,980 meters of high. There are 70 equipped down-runs at the resort, and more than one third of them are of extreme complexity.
The Whistler Resort in British Columbia is also worth mentioning . It is situated not far from the Pacific Ocean, which is the reason of 11 meters of precipitations every year. Whistler has an unofficial name of the snow capital of the world. The peak point is 2,180 meters high. Height discontinuity is more than 1.5 kilometres, and the total number of routes is approximately 100. The main snowboarding resort of British Columbia is Blackcomb, located near the Whistler resort. Ski Marmot Basin and mountain-skiing Bunff zone are located in the Jasper National Park, Alberta. As well, it is possible to go skiing in the Edmonton Ski Club, Canyon Ski Area, and Calgary Olympia Park.
Saskatchewan and Manitoba provinces also offer the opportunities for skiing onto the wide spread of prairie. Among the resorts, there are Mission Ridge, Wapiti Valley (Saskatchewan), and Mystery Mountain (Manitoba). On the outskirts of Manitoba (Winnipeg), there is the mountain-skiing Stony Mountain Resort; southward, on the border with the USA, there is the Holiday Mountain Resort; 130 km eastwards Winnipeg, there is the Falcon Ski Resort, in the province Whiteshell Park near the Falcon lake.
In Toronto (Ontario) and its suburbs, there are several mountain-skiing resorts that turn into popular golf courses in summer. The most famous mountain-skiing descents of this part of the country are situated in the Toronto Centennial Park, and in the nearby mountain-skiing centers of Chikopee, Devils-Elbow, Sir-Sams, Ottawa, on the Blue Mountain Resort, and in the Glen Park near the Niagara Falls.
The Georgian Bay coast in the eastern part of the Lake Huron (Ontario) is the popular place for mountain skiing. In the province of Quebec, eastwards the city of Quebec, there are the two best Canadian mountain skiing resorts, Le Mitspoiu and Mont Saint Anne. A hundred kilometers northwards Montreal, in Laurentides, on the descents of Mont Tremblant (935 m), there is the same-name province park with numerous mountain-skiing resorts. The most popular resort of this region is Mont Tremblant Resort.
In New Brunswick, it is essential to focus on Crabbe Mountain Ski Resort nearby Fredericton, the Sugarloaf Province Park (one can get there from Edmundston), and Poley Mountain Ski Resort (in the suburbs of the Bay of Fundy National Park), which is one of the most popular mountain-skiing resorts of the Atlantic Canadian Coast, more suitable for newcomers. Height discontinuity within the resort is 200 m, and it has 14 routes and 4 ski lifts.
The Brookville Ski Resort is located in the Western part of the Prince Edward Island, nearby Charlottetown. The other resort, Marbel Mountain, is located in the western part of the Newfoundland Island in Humber Valley, embosomed in Long Range Mountains. Marbel Mountain is regarded to be one of the best resorts situated eastwards the Rocky Mountains. The season here starts in December and lasts till April. Height discontinuity is 488 m. The resort has 31 mountain-skiing routes, half-pipe and the extreme park for snowboarding and 5 ski lifts. The Marbel Villa resort hotel is supposed to be one of the most beautiful in the world.
The other crucial aspect worth mentioning is the fact that mountain skiing is largely dependent on natural conditions. The most inportant is the thick snow cover during 4-5 months. The other factors contributing to comfort and attractiveness of the mountain-skiing vacation include terrain elevation, terrain features, weather conditions of the mountain-skiing season, flora, absence of the danger of avalanches, and, undoubtedly, variety and uniqueness of landscapes.
In order to choose the descents for skiing, it is important to pay attention to the danger of avalanches that may arise not only as a result of a big amount of snow precipitations and other weather conditions, but because of steepness of slopes and flora. The biggest number of avalanches is peculiar to non-forest slopes of the curved form with the range of steepness 25 – 50°. That is why, it is crucial to choose the slopes and itineraries reasonably taking into account all the factors, or the specialist recommendations .
All in all, mountain-skiing tourism is one of the main types of tourism in Canada. In turn, this country has numerous natural resources that contribute to active development. Only due to these reasons, developing so extensively, mountain-skiing tourism is encouraging more and more travelers. Despite the fact that this type of tourism is highly popular, the national government implements a positive policy towards the mountain-skiing tourism development and puts a lot of efforts in order to open new resorts. Formation of such a type of tourism contributes to the development of the country in general and its local population in particular.
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