This Small Country Is One Of The World’s Favourite Destinations
This year’s Austrian and Central European Travel Business expo brings together tourism offices, airlines, hotels, tour operators, and other travel-industry professionals with buyers and media to promote the entire Central European tourism industry and facilitate cooperation and contracts between parties working in this region. The burgeoning tourism industries of Austria’s neighbours such as Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, and The Czech Republic are striving to reach out beyond their traditionally intra-European visitors to markets on increase inbound numbers from other continents.
The ACTB has been the principal tourism-industry event in Austria for thirty years and is about to undergo a revamp. The 2010 edition was the last as an annual event; the next edition will be an all-new version in 2012. With that in mind, exhibitors and attendees were keen to finalise arrangements for the coming year; most everyone seemed satisfied with the outcome of their appointments, including Yvonne Chapple, Flight Centre’s Product Manager, Europe. With Central Europe playing a role of growing importance in Flight Centres strategic planning, Yvonne was a busy lady this week. Kiwi Tony Franklin of Eurolynx was similarly pleased with the outcome of his effort to fly halfway around the world to attend ACTB.
While the likes of France, Spain, and Italy are perennial battlers for the title of most visited country in the world, it may be surprising to know that Austria is not far behind the leaders, with more than 32,303,000 arrivals and nights spent in 2009, only a modest decrease from the record-breaking 2008 figure of 32,616,000. In fact, given Austria’s small size and population, it may very well be the most popular tourism destination in the world on a per capita inhabitant basis—not surprising given the immense diversity of attractions and sophisticated hospitality industry. Austria has attracted visitors since the nineteenth century, when The Austro-Hungarian Empire was the richest and most powerful in Europe, encompassing vast lands and a diversity of cultures. The empire is long gone, but the grandeur remains both in the architectural vestiges of Vienna’s fine buildings as well as the excellent cuisine mingling ingredients and flavours of past domains.
While much emphasis is placed on Austria’s bookends of tourism—Vienna in the east and ski capital Innsbruck in the west—there is much more to Austria than these two geographical extremes; the country’s nine states each offer unique experiences, ranging from famous Salzburg to regions lesser known to Asia-Pacific visitors. Innsbruck, capital of the state of Tyrol and one of the most beautiful towns in the world, benefits from both winter and summer peak seasons, with winter sports visitors contributing the major portion of the annual tourism revenue. Salzburg, too, attracts visitors all year round with its beautiful setting and busy calendar of events. New in 2010 is Salzburg’s Via Culinaria, a series of food experiences specially designed for visitors with a variety of culinary interests. A visit to the website is alone a mouthwatering experience; along with lots of helpful information, there are recipes accompanying further information on the regions sports, culture, and wellness attractions.
Vienna gains a lot of attention simply because of logistics; it has the country’s biggest airport and is the hub of the excellent Austrian National Railway. That said, there are myriad destinations only a short distance away from the capital. Lower Austria, located to the northwest of Vienna, is chock full of scenic landscapes in the hills and in Lower Austria’s Wachau Valley, one of the most picturesque sections of the Danube River. Styria, Carinthia, Burgenland, Upper Austria, and Vorarlberg are all making maximal efforts to present their appeal.Information about all of Austria’s regions and attractions may be found on the ANTO website, one of the industry’s most thorough.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: R.L.B