On Location ACTB Vienna: Tourism In Central Europe


Jill from New Zealand, a buyer participating in one of the ACTB study tours
Slovenia was well represented at ACTB by Bojan Meden of the Slovenian Tourist Board and Jana Bolcic of Portoroz Tourism
The Alps tourism initiative, announced at this year’s ACTB

Austria’s Neighbours Make Efforts To Emulate Its Successes

Most visitors from the Asia-Pacific region incorporate Austria into an itinerary that includes one or more neighbouring countries, so it makes sense that the country markets itself in conjunction with its neighbours in addition to its national efforts.  Countries through which the Danube flows have been marketing themselves as a unified entity as The Danube Tourist Commission for forty years.  Austria is now about to embark on another multinational tourism marketing effort; ‘The Alps’ is a new initiative marketing Austria’s alpine region in conjunction with its nearby counterparts in Bavaria and Switzerland.  Other countries are expected to join by the time The Alps is officially launched in September 2010.  This exciting development is further illustrates Austria’s proactive approach to tourism marketing, going beyond national borders to communicate a more specific theme.  In a country like Austria, whose attractions range from the most cultural of urban experiences to the purest of rural holidays, there is an effort to identify and highlight specific experiences; this seems to work well, especially in the short-haul market where people are able to visit for long weekends on a whim. 

Slovenia has borders with both Austria and Italy and is well connected by air and rail to its neighbours.  While Ljubljana has been a hotspot for Europeans on long-weekend citybreaks, the rest of the country’s attractions are even less familiar to the longhaul traveller.  Lake Bled, one of the most scenic in Europe, has been making itself better known to travellers and travel agents, but few people realise that Slovenia, too, is a Mediterranean country with a short but beautiful coastline between Italy and Croatia.  The jewel of the Slovenia coast is Portoroz, which means ‘pink port’, a classic Mediterranean seaside village.  With a fine coastline and 60% of the nation’s territory green forestland, Slovenia is a prime destination for outdoor adventure and is making a particular effort to attract travellers supporting sustainable tourism.

Hungary is in the spotlight in 2010 thanks to two special events.  Hungary has declared 2010 to be the Year Of Festivals, so expect the gregarious Hungarians to ratchet up their hospitality even further.  2010 is also the year that the Hungarian city of Pecs (pronounced ‘petch’) is a European Capital Of Culture, bringing attention to this city in the southern part of the country.

Slovakia’s capital, Bratislava, is less than an hour’s drive from Vienna’s Schwechat Airport and offers a smaller-scale Baroque experience in comparison to its grand neighbour.  Slovakia is something of an unknown quantity among intercontinental travellers; the British, Swiss, and Germans have been filling the country’s ski resorts for years now, and the spa town of Piestany attracts an increasing number of visitors looking for a soothing mudpack or thermal spa treatment.  With diverse scenery, friendly inhabitants, and hearty cuisine to match its architectural patrimony in Bratislava and Levoca, a UNESCO World Heritage City, Slovakia is a rising star in European tourism.  The recent conversion to the euro as the national currency can only serve to enhance its appeal.

At the conclusion of the ACTB, many buyers participated in study tours to destinations in Austria, Hungary, and Slovenia.  With almost all Central European cities lacking longhaul flights to the Asia-Pacific region, Vienna International Airport serves as an ideal gateway for long-distance arrivals; VIE’s small size makes connections easy.  VIE has recently launched commercial VIP and Business services for passengers wanting special attention on arrival and looking for simplified procedures on departure.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: R.L.B
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