Survey Says…

Posted on July 5th, 2019 by

Today, we traveled up to the Glacier Paradise, a tourist attraction with a view of the Matterhorn and the highest point we will visit in this course, via gondolas.

View of the Alps from Glacier Paradise

The main purpose of our visit to Glacier Paradise was to survey tourists to study glacier tourism in Zermatt. We met early in the morning to establish a research question, create a script, and formulate questions. This was a long process and took a lot of consideration and compromise. Our overarching question that we wanted to answer with our survey was how the presence of glaciers impacted the amount of tourism coming to the Alps, specifically Zermatt. Once at Glacier Paradise, we split off into pairs and approached visitors to see if they would be interested in taking our survey. This was challenging for many of us as there were many rejections and a lot of discomfort in approaching groups of tourists. Additionally, many tourists did not speak English well or at all, making it hard to communicate. When analyzing our data in the evening, we realized that our survey method resulted in answers that were difficult to interpret or categorize, as most of them were open ended. In conclusion, we found that most people were very interested in seeing glaciers, but it was not their primary reason for visiting the Alps.

On the way back from Glacier Paradise, six of us chose to stop at one of the gondola stations to take in more of the views. We found a beautiful, clear pond next to a fun hiking trail. There were lots of small fish that were entertaining to watch and when testing the water, we found that it was warmer than we anticipated. We spent the next hour relaxing in the area, some waded into the pond or took a nap on the rocks, while others scrambled up a nearby hill. The area was less crowded than at Glacier Paradise, though the views of the Matterhorn were just as beautiful, if not more. This break was what we needed to prepare for our upcoming overnight hikes.

View from the top of the nearby hill

We had a group dinner at an Italian restaurant about five minutes from our hostel. We ordered our main meals and even indulged in dessert to send off one of friends who will be headed back home. At the end of the meal, the owner offered us complimentary Limoncello shots. We all took them together before class.



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