Of Mountains, Snow, and Palatial Hotels
During the 19th century the mountainous landscapes of Grisons were becoming a favourite travel destination for guests enthusiastic about the beauty they found there. A new infrastructure geared towards tourism very quickly followed. Davos was one such place soon to become famous for its healthy climate where patients suffering from tuberculosis received treatment in the Alpine climate. The canton’s first railway line, opened by Raetian Railways in 1890, ran from Landquart to Davos, making the journey more agreeable for patients and guests alike.
The Engadine Valley with its grand hotels and modern sports facilities fulfilled the wishes of well-heeled guests. This boom in tourism before the World Wars turned mountain villages into smart and fashionable destinations and created new jobs for the locals population.
While guests initially visited mainly during the summer months, winter sports soon became popular as well. St Moritz hosted the Winter Olympic Games in 1928 and again in 1948. Skiing became a very popular sport in the mid-1950s. All this contributed greatly to a renewed post-war touristic boom in Grisons. These days the industry faces new challenges, both from the market as well as from climate change when warmer winters mean less snowfall.
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