Mountain huts are important. They are not just shelter in all kinds of weather, but also a regional economic factor. EUMA wants to show them all.
Roland Stierle is the president of EUMA and the matter of mountain huts is near to his heart. Mountain huts function not just as shelters and refuges from the weather in the mountain regions, but also as efficient economical multipliers, which secure regional labor in remote areas with the possibility of working with nature and from natural resources. EUMA has a goal: It wants to bring all mountain huts together. In form of a map – the mountain huts map, which shows efficiently at a glance where the huts in Europe are. Stierle explains the details in an interview.
EUMA is working on the most comprehensive mountain huts map of Europe: Why is this important?
Roland Stierle: In Europe there are over 2.500 huts for mountaineers and mountain tourists. These huts provide shelter, accommodation and in many cases food. The mountaineers who want to travel to a certain area have easy access to the hut data through the EUMA mountain hut map. This makes mountaineering more projectable.
Since when do you work on the map?
EUMA started this project 2018, one year after its foundation. Since that time the map constantly expands and more and more countries are popping up on the map.
How does the project effect the on-site rural development?
In many cases, mountain huts are tourist destinations and are mainly located in sparsely populated areas. Huts are places of communication and create jobs and the incoming tourism enables further business in the valley locations.
Can you share best-practice-examples of actual rural development connected to mountain huts?
Various Alpine associations as owners of the huts participate in the programme “So schmecken die Berge” (“The taste of the mountains”) where food is offered, which comes almost exclusively the region. This reduces transport distances and strengthens the regional economy.