Val Thorens, France
Val Thorens, France

By Thierry Malleret, economist

In general, populist politicians tend to disregard the relevance of climate change/global warming, but the wellness industry will ignore this to its peril. Two examples show that change is coming much faster than many realize. For one, after a series of rather dismal snow seasons in the Alps, hospitality and real estate businesses are beginning to understand that it pays to be higher up where the snow is guaranteed. The French resort of Val Thorens (the highest in the Alps) is proof of that. It has moved from underdog status – an ugly, purpose-built concrete town for cheap student ski breaks – to a high-end wellness resort, with a flurry of openings promoting the idea that “wellness and adventure go hand-in-hand.”

A second example: What’s happening in Miami’s real estate/hospitality industry demonstrates that higher ground will progressively host the “hotter” properties. This is not because rising sea levels will suddenly submerge all coastal areas, but because the risk of occasional flooding (provoked by storms or simply high tides) will make it un-economical to invest in lower ground coastal real estate. Real estate investment will focus on areas that can remain dry when the weather goes wrong.

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