How could one not want to live in the Saanenland, which seems to have everything on offer one could wish for in a mountain region: pristine landscapes, endless outdoor activities, a rich cultural scene, a modern infrastructure, ... But this is only one side of the coin.
The truth is that the Saanenland is in a phase of a decreasing population. Local businesses have had difficulties recruiting new employees for some time now, which is one sign of this development. The region is (too) far from urban centres, housing and living costs are high, many shops (and chalets) remain closed during low season, ... Professor Dr Heike Mayer has the details in this issue.
Maybe we need a second destination strategy to the one developed and recently updated for tourism (also in this issue). One that sets out the strategy of how to attract employees. One that details the goals for qualitative improvements explicitly planned for the local population, so they want to stay or come to live here. One that offers a four-year prospect of upholding the quality of life at a reasonable price for the ones who live here all year round.
Incidentally, this might prove a good basis for tourism, too.
Dr Markus Iseli,