In order to show how the satellite data can be used within ski resort management, we decided to develop a Management Information System (MIS). A MIS is a computer system that facilitates decision-making processes by making the problem of a ski manager more transparent. The system needs spatial data to (1) present the problem. (2) To show alternative solutions and (3) Feed models needed to assess economic and environmental impacts. Furthermore a special section on 'Eco Labelling', supplying information on future developments related to sustainable tourism, is implemented.
The ski area MIS integrates all the products created within the CARTESIAN project and thus provides: automatic access to a spatial GIS database containing e.g. remote sensing- and topographic information, a Management Evaluation tool based on MCA (Multi Criteria Analysis) and advanced 3D visualisation tools to provide pre recorded 3D animation’s of the ski-resorts.
The MIS can be used in several ways. In the first place, as an instrument to support communication between stakeholders involved in a process dealing with (ski resort) management. Typically, the MIS can be used in a workshop, showing management options (e.g. 'choose the best Olympic site' or 'stimulate eco-tourism') and their impacts on several criteria such as environment and economic benefits. Secondly, the MIS can be used by an engineer as a stand-alone application for calculating the effects of constructing a ski lift. The MIS provides information on costs and environmental effects. Thirdly, the MIS is a clear marketing tool with 3D animations showing the resort from different viewpoints. In order to develop the MIS, we defined three case study areas each representing a particular management issue of a ski resort.
-Sion: The issue in Sion (Switzerland) involved the planning of the organisation of the Olympic games of 2006.
-Montafon: The issue within the ski resort Silvretta Nova (Austria) was to find a suitable location for a new ski lift.
-Les Arcs: The main issue for the ski resort Les Arcs (France) was to define a vision for the future.
As already can be seen from the different issues addressed within the CARTESIAN program. A MIS is suitable for virtual every issue. The transparent approach and clear presentation used makes this MIS design easy to us, very user friendly and thus successful. It has already successfully been applied on other, very difficult issues, such as international river basin management.