The map above shows the share of second homes at the community level. Two things become apparent here. First, there is a declining significance of second homes when moving from West to East. This corresponds directly to the observations on the regional level made above.
Almost half of all second homes are located in approximately of the total of over 6, municipalities. Second homes are therefore not a ubiquitous phenomenon but one restricted to certain areas in the Alps, especially to those along the main chain of the Alps. Speaking in terms of total numbers, the municipalities with the highest stock not share of second homes are either Alpine cities San Remo, Salzburg, Grenoble, and Innsbruck or those with purpose-built centres St.
Martin de Belleville. It is often argued that this proximity dominates the spatial distribution Machiavelli, ; Perlik, , and this argument is backed by a whole strand of mainly Northern American research on the spatial distribution of second homes — one of the first research subjects in the area Bielckus et al.
However, the data for the Alps does not support these findings. Nevertheless, further research in this area, based on absolute numbers of second homes instead of shares and on case studies, might demonstrate whether this observation is rather due to the special situation of the Alps short distances, specific topography etc.
Two main processes were found to account for this. Together, they explain both the massive growth and the huge stocks of second homes in the Alps today. First, the demand for leisure and holiday properties in the Alps has been high for decades. Especially in France, Italy without South Tyrol and Switzerland, purpose built real estate developments for leisure and holiday are of crucial importance for the tourism industry.
According to the nature of this demand, it was mostly met in attractive tourism destinations across the Alps. In consequence, these regions faced or still face the construction of second homes as part of their development. In attractive regions, second home construction has even become one of the major elements of the economic development. In spite of a general growth in population in the Alps since , wide areas of the Italian Alps, of the Southern French Alps and the eastern part of the Eastern Alps lost population. Switzerland shows a mixture of growth and decline the latter taking place especially in the Southern parts of the Swiss Alps Perlik, As a direct consequence, much of the remaining housing stock is reused only for holiday and leisure purposes.
Many second homes are therefore not new buildings but conversions of existing ones, especially in peripheral regions. The use of holiday homes for leisure or for holiday purposes are of distinct nature in creation, in property and generally also in use. In consequence, three functional types of second homes can be identified in the Alps: Leisure homes mostly purpose-built and for leisure , Holiday homes mostly purpose-built and for commercial tourism and Family properties created by out-migration and mostly used for leisure purposes.
Leisure homes: Due to their location in small distance to major agglomerations, the Alps are an attractive place for leisure homes. In distinction to holiday homes, they are either rented or owned by their users, and often used but for shorter times — e. Many leisure homes are built for this purpose; some are converted former first homes or agricultural buildings.
This type of second home is very popular in many places inside and outside the Alps such as North America, Great Britain, and Scandinavia, e.
Second home tourism in Europe : lifestyle issues and policy responses
It is usually referred to in discussions on second homes. Kaspar, They might rather be conceived as part of a setting of multilocal living. Holiday homes: Holiday homes are built for commercial purposes and usually rented for short periods to visitors of the area. Two main subtypes may be distinguished. In the first subtype, the properties are developed by an investment company, mostly from outside the Alps. These developments are usually large and owned and managed by professional agencies.
They can be found mainly in the French and the Italian Alps, on a minor scale also in the Swiss Alps. These second homes are developed on a small scale and mainly located in Austria, Bavaria and South Tyrol. Family properties: Due to their use for leisure purposes, the distinction to type 1 is not clear cut.
Their owners for the most part maintain close relations with the town of their secondary or former family home, even if they use them only occasionally. This helps to form social and economic relationships, which may remain stable for decades. However, second homes are not distributed ubiquitously across the Alps. Differences exist in regard to the history of tourism, policy frameworks, the culture of spending holidays, and natural and cultural amenities Perlik, Second homes are a rather young phenomenon that has faced a very dynamic growth in all Alpine countries in the last decades.
Two parallel processes were identified to be relevant for this growth: first the steady construction of new homes for leisure and tourism purposes and second the outmigration from the Alps mainly due to structural economic change. Indeed, the development of second homes stocks reflects major processes taking place in the Alpine region on a large scale, i. All these processes are closely linked to each other and to the structural change in the Alpine economy.
However, almost half of all second homes are concentrated in only around municipalities, which exclude the major part of the Alps.
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It might therefore be sensible to speak of a conversion for certain areas, but certainly not for the whole Alpine region. In consequence, the stock of second homes for leisure and tourism will remain under strong pressure to grow further in many Alpine regions. When considering the problems arising from large numbers and high concentrations of second homes, government intervention in the second home market must continue to play a significant role in future.
Little is known about the everyday practices of second homeowners, e. In what rhythms and for what purposes do they use their first and second homes? And how is the social involvement of second homeowners there? Concepts of place making or place attachment might be fruitfully applied in this context. Does amenity migration really present a new perspective for the Alps, stopping or even inversing the long-standing outmigration on an Alpine scale?
The benefits to be gained from this new approach seem to be all the more worthwhile if amenity migration and multilocal living are perceived as potential major chances for the future of the Alps. Anrig P. ARE, Arnesen T. Glorioso und Amy Krause Hg.
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Bartaletti F. Bender O. Bielckus, C. Braumann Ch. Canton of Valais, Coppock, J. Gallent N. Examining housing supply and planning control, Aldershot, Ashgate. Gosar A. Hall M. Hall, M. Hilti N. Kaspar Cl. Macchiavelli A. Governance, ownerships and belongings in contemporary Alpine regions, Rete montagna, Padova, Padova University press. McIntyre N.
Messerli P. Moss L. Williams ed. Oxford, Blackwell, pp. Krippendorf J. Perlik M. Perrot M. Petite M. Plaz P. Roca Z. Schuler M. Shellito B. Sonderegger R. Stettler J.
Professor Judith Pallot | Staff | School of Geography and the Environment | University of Oxford
Steinicke E. Ghost Towns vs. However, the maximum growth period in second home construction in the French winter sport resorts must be viewed as finished Interview Rougier , and many second homes in the periurban areas are even converted into first homes INSEE, Calculations by the federal administration support this estimation ARE As to be expected, second homes in the Alps are mainly used for leisure purposes in both countries. These explanations follow in more detail in Chapter 6.
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Second home tourism in Europe: Lifestyle issues and policy responses
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