Climate change and its possible consequences for winter vacation destinations constitutes a new and complex challenge to tourism research. The actual effects of climate change, as well as its perception and presentation by the media, by politics and society at large all influence entrepreneurial decisions and the future development of a region. In order to research the future of a winter sport resort community, a transdisciplinary research framework was developed for the destination of Schladming in Austria. We evaluated the effects of climate change by investigating spatial differences on a local scale and adapting the large scaled climate change models to this local level. Then we studied the attitudes and preferences of visitors, including the possible effects of the media on public opinion. An analysis of regional economic statistics documented the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the study area. In addition, we considered the opinions of local representatives, as well as stakeholders, interest groups and associations. These results provide background information for the first expanded implementation of the Tourism Optimization Management Model (TOMM) in Europe. In this visitor management process, local people are formulating strategic regional decisions considering climate change and other trends in tourism in order to enhance a sustainable development in their region.