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Vienna suffers stagnation in domestic demand but growth in tourism from abroad

The last few months of 2003 seem to have been good ones for Vienna`s tourism. From January through July tourist arrivals…

The last few months of 2003 seem to have been good ones for Vienna`s tourism. From January through July tourist arrivals in the Austrian capital fell by more than 2 per cent. Yet, by the end of November, year-to-date figures showed a 3 per cent increase in both arrivals and overnight volume.



The average, nonetheless, masks differing trends in the domestic and international markets. While domestic demand stagnated in the eleven months, international arrivals increased by almost 3.5 per cent and overnights were up 4 per cent. The growth was in large part due to double-digit increases out of Germany, Vienna leading source, which generates close to 30 per cent of arrivals and nights in the city. The UK, USA and Japan, on the other hand, all recorded declines.



Hotels generate three-quarters of Vienna`s arrivals and 77 per cent of overnight volume. The only sector to register a decline in demand in 2003 was Vienna`s five-star hotels. Otherwise, hotels generally performed quite well, especially out of the international market. But the best growth was for campsites and stays in private homes – both from a low base.



A recently published report, the Tourism Concept Vienna 2010, reflects the city tourism authorities` goal of attracting 10 million tourist overnights by 2010, generating a total turnover of about EUR3.2 billion. This would require an increase in overnights of at least 3.5 per cent a year and will only be possible, the report says, if Vienna`s accessibility is improved – such as through the building of a central rail station and the introduction of new measures to stimulate airline capacity. Vienna`s tourism industry currently brings in about EUR2.5 billion at the present level of 7.7 million overnights.



This is about 5 per cent of the city`s gross metropolitan product. According to the report, conference and events tourism are target sectors for growth, with the 250th anniversary of the birth of Mozart in 2006 and the European Soccer Championship in 2008 offering ideal opportunities to increase the city`s visibility in international markets – and, in terms of the Mozart event, reinforcing Vienna`s position as the music capital of Europe.



But new attractions are needed – starting with the reorganisation and modernisation of the Prater – the report says. Among other suggestions from the Vienna Tourist Board, the Sunday opening of stores is also critical, and security in the city needs to be further improved.

Theodore Koumelis
Co-Founder & Managing Director - Travel Media Applications | Website

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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