Great Box-Office Results: South Tyrol’s Economy is Internationally in Demand
Considering the economic development of the area, it becomes very clear where the region’s economic focus lies: service industries, agriculture and technology. Every year over 27,000,000 overnight stays are booked from Vinschgau to Pustertal in the numerous hotels, inns and guest houses. And by the way, almost 50% of the guests are from Germany, most of which come primarily for the multitude of sports activities offered by the natural terrain: hiking, mountain climbing, rock climbing and mountain biking are among the most popular, but golf, wellness and family vacations are also gaining in popularity. And then of course, the white stuff! Dolomiti Superski, the Ortler Skiarena, the Ahrn and Eisack Valleys are home to some 1,000 kilometers of ski slopes, and are among the most technologically innovative Alpine ski destinations in the whole world. But ski slopes and mountains alone don’t make for a successful winter season. Careful handling of natural resources and a suitable infrastructure concept that allows for a sufficient capacity for the annually increasing winter sports enthusiasts is of utmost importance. And South Tyrol has an answer: around 400 ski lifts and transit systems can comfortably accommodate some 500,000 visitors – every hour on over 180 ski days! Of course the necessary technology for all of this requires a lot of energy and electricity, most of which is supplied by renewable sources here in South Tyrol. Over half of the entire electrical and heating needs – not including that needed for transit purposes – are provided in South Tyrol by solar, water and organic resources. Locally-produced hydraulic powered electricity accounts for more than double the amount needed in the province, making South Tyrol not only a role model for renewable energy in Italy, but for all of Europe as well. This experience and competency in these areas have placed South Tyrol in an internationally-recognized top position for alpine technologies. From ski lifts to access control systems, South Tyrolean companies successfully sell their products and services within Europe, to the USA as well as to the growing markets in Russia and China. Wherever you find mountains, snow and winter sports, alpine technology and quality from South Tyrol is in demand. In addition to the achievements in the sectors of technology and the export of know-how, the agriculture of South Tyrol also plays a traditionally large role. Above all, one particular piece of fruit, which like no other, symbolizes the green hills and sun-kissed days in South Tyrol: the apple. Since 1867, a train line over the Brenner Pass connects the alpine north and south ridges making it possible for South Tyrolean apple farmers to get their plump red fruit to all the important European markets. And they’ve been doing this since time immemorial with great ambition and success: apples from South Tyrol were considered a real luxury product at the royal courts in Vienna, Berlin and St. Petersburg. And the apple hasn’t lost any of its luster in the 21st century. Twelve different varieties of apples are planted by 8,000 fruit growers and grown on 18,400 hectares of land every year, making South Tyrol home to the largest continuous cultivated area for apples in the European Union. In fact, every tenth apple eaten in Europe was provided by a farmer from South Tyrol. But apples are not the only fruit from the area which is popular well beyond the borders of South Tyrol. Sylvaner, Pinot Blanc, Gewürztraminer, Lagrein, Vernatsch are among the most popular grape varieties cultivated year for year by winemakers in the vineyards along the South Tyrolean Wine Road. With an annual production of around 500,000 hectoliters, South Tyrol’s winemakers produce a relatively small amount of wine, but a whole lot of quality. The well-known Italian wine guide “Gambero Rosso Vini d’Italia” calls South Tyrol a “powerful wine region”.