Tourism in Austria

Tourism in Austria forms an important part of the country's economy, accounting for almost 9% of the Austrian gross domestic product.[1] Austria has one guest bed for every six inhabitants, and boasts the highest per capita income from tourism in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.[2] As of 2007, the total number of tourist overnight stays is roughly the same for summer and winter season, with peaks in February and July/August.[1]

Belvedere Palace, Vienna, one of Austria's most iconic monuments

In 2007, Austria ranked 9th worldwide in international tourism receipts, with 18.9 billion US$.[3] In international tourist arrivals, Austria ranked 12th with 30.8 million tourists.[3]

Most visited areas

Vienna attracts a major part of tourists, both in summer and winter.[1] Salzburg receives about a fifth of tourist overnight stays compared to Vienna, which ranks it 2nd in the summer season.[1] In the winter season, a number of winter sport resorts in western Austria overtake Salzburg in the number of tourist overnight stays: Sölden, Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Ischgl, Sankt Anton am Arlberg, and Obertauern.[1]

Visits to Austria mostly include trips to Vienna with its Cathedral, its "Heurigen" (wine pubs) and romantic Waltz music events. Worth a visit are Salzburg, birthplace of Mozart, Innsbruck, capital of Tyrol surrounded by the Alps, Linz, capital of Upper Austria with the largest Cathedral of Austria and modern cultural highlights, and the Danube valley with its vineyards, for example the Wachau or Dunkelsteinerwald, which are between Melk and Krems. In the western part of the country the province Vorarlberg reaches the Lake Constance, in the eastern part Neusiedler See. The three most visited landmarks in Austria are Schönbrunn Palace (2,590,000 visitors per year), Tiergarten Schönbrunn (2,453,987 visitors) and Mariazell Basilica (1,500,000 visitors).[4]

Sports and nature

Ski Arlberg in Vorarlberg and Tyrol

Of great touristic importance are the Austrian skiing, hiking and mountaineering resorts in the Alps as well as family-friendly recreation areas (e.g. the Witches's Water in Tyrol). The same applies to the numerous Austrian lakes (e.g. Wolfgangsee and other lakes in the Salzkammergut east of Salzburg or Wörthersee in Carinthia) and castles. Stretching over Vorarlberg and Tyrol, Ski Arlberg is the largest connected ski area in Austria and one of five largest ski areas in the world.[5]

Art and culture

For visitors interested in media art, there is the Ars Electronica Center in Linz. Since 1979 this center has organized the Ars Electronica Festival and presented the Prix Ars Electronica, the worldwide highest-ranked prize for media art.[6]

Internationally known annual events

Name Location Date Description
Bregenzer Festspiele Bregenz, Vorarlberg July/August Opera festival
Vienna New Year's Concert Vienna 1 January Traditional concert for classical music
Internationale Gartenbaumesse Tulln Tulln, Lower Austria End of August Horticulture trade fair, Europe's biggest flower show
Vienna Opera Ball Vienna Thursday preceding Ash Wednesday Ball
Salzburg Festival Salzburg July/August Opera festival
Donauinselfest Vienna End of June Biggest open air music festival in the world, free entry
Viennale Vienna October Film festival
Ars Electronica Festival Linz, Upper Austria September Festival devoted to technology and new media art including workshops, discussions and lectures
Hahnenkamm race Kitzbühel, Tyrol January Ski race
Life Ball Vienna June HIV and AIDS awareness event

Arrivals by country

Most visitors arriving to Austria on short term basis are from the following countries of nationality:[7]

Rank Country 2014 2015
1 Germany11,750,02712,134,836
2 Netherlands1,671,5811,734,453
3  Switzerland1,309,6601,400,251
4 Italy1,051,4901,122,936
5 United Kingdom802,552875,664
6 China497,925715,119
7 Czech Republic660,086711,351
8 United States632,512708,233
9 France516,770517,708
10 Belgium514,264514,329
11 Hungary493,055501,595
12 Poland425,730456,615
13 Spain309,794348,768
14 Denmark264,704331,507
15 Russia467,565313,406
16 South Korea234,557277,032
17 Romania264,704275,806
18 Japan245,306236,621
19 Sweden205,501224,258
20 Slovakia176,760194,186
Total foreign25,291,37126,718,945

Slogans of the provinces

  • Burgenland – The sunny side of Austria
  • Carinthia – The joy of living
  • Lower Austria – Feel alive!
  • Upper Austria – ?
  • Salzburg – Stage of the World
  • Styria – The Green Heart of Austria
  • Tyrol – Heart of the Alps
  • Vienna – Now. Forever.
  • Vorarlberg – Poetry in Nature[8]

Notes and references

  1. "TOURISMUS IN ÖSTERREICH 2007" (PDF) (in German). BMWA, WKO, Statistik Austria. May 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-12-18. Retrieved 2008-11-18.
  2. Norden, Gilbert (Spring 2001). "Austrian Sport Museums" (PDF). Journal of Sport History. 28 (1): 87–107. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
  3. "UNTWO World Tourism Barometer, Vol.6 No.2" (PDF). UNTWO. June 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-08-19. Retrieved 2008-11-18.
  4. Die wichtigsten Sehenswürdigkeiten in Österreich
  5. West, Ski Arlberg, Pool. "Die Wiege des alpinen Skilaufs". Ski Arlberg, Pool West (in German). Retrieved 2019-09-16.
  6. "Ars Electronica". Ars Electronica. Retrieved 2019-09-16.
  7. Tourismus in Österreich 2015
  8. "Holidays in Vorarlberg Austria - Official Travel Guide & Tourist Information". Urlaub in Vorarlberg. Retrieved 2019-09-16.