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The “Winter Sports Weeks” organized by the French Touring-Club. A lever for tourist development

Abstract : At the end of the 19th century, winter sports made a discreet appearance in France on account of mountaineers and servicemen. However their success as a leisure physical activity did not actually start before the beginning of the 20th century. The French Touring-Club, an association working for the development of tourism, gave it a decisive impulse through various financial and material forms of support. Motivated by a strong interest in the tourist development of mountain areas, the Club engaged into a long-term action in favor of winter sports over the whole French territory. Soon, its leaders set up a very special event: the Winter Sports Week. This happening was planned to take place yearly in every French massif in turns, so that its dynamics would launch the activity in the given area and durably establish it. The aim of this paper is to analyze the Winter Sports Weeks organized just before the First World War and to show their impact on the development of winter sports in France. We shall demonstrate that these events crystallized the French Touring-Club action and enabled it to have a more effective influence on the development of tourism than when offering assistance to various projects all over France. In terms of sport, the impact of the Winter Sports Weeks manifested through the creation of ski clubs and the multiplication of competitions. In terms of tourism, new infrastructures were created to accommodate sportsmen and competitors. We have assessed the effects of the Touring-Club action in the light of the subsidies which were allocated and of the agreements obtained through its lobbying with local companies and local authorities. To expound this theme, we shall lean essentially on the French Touring-Club archives and publications. Among the latter, the Touring-Club Review takes a major place, but many pamphlets, guides and booklets also testify of the involvement and action of this famous French association for the development of winter sports tourism.
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Contributor : Pierre-Olaf Schut Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Saturday, October 14, 2017 - 10:25:44 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, January 15, 2022 - 4:06:31 AM


  • HAL Id : hal-01616833, version 1



Pierre-Olaf Schut. The “Winter Sports Weeks” organized by the French Touring-Club. A lever for tourist development . ISHPES Conference, Aug 2013, Taipei, Taiwan. ⟨hal-01616833⟩



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