According to an analysis by the Economic Research Institute (WiFo), the significant revival of Austria’s summer tourism can mainly be traced back to recent developments in city and alpine tourism. 53% of all overnight stays between May and August were booked in the mountain regions and 18% in cities. According to WiFo, 70% of overnight stays in metropolitan areas took place in Vienna.
The so-called mixed regions such as Upper Austria’s “Traunviertel” or “Mühlviertel“ and lower Austria’s “Mostvierel“ contributed a significant share of 21%. The remaining eight percent were booked in regions with an emphasis on wellness or culinary arts, such as the “Innviertel“, Steiermark or Nordburgenland.
According to these figures, the number of overnight stays in cities over the summer season increased by 6.3%, while those in mixed regions and mountain regions increased by 3.8 and 3.7%, respectively. Regions with emphasis on wellness or culinary arts, on the other hand, saw a decrease of 0.7%. This type of region – often based on public funding – cannot deliver an expected performance in comparison to remotely located regions with weaker economic structures (in spite of earlier successes).
When compared with the months from May to August 2009, more than 90% of the current increase of 5.9 million have been made in urban and alpine areas. Since 2009, Austria’s city tourism has seen the largest increase with an average of 5.5% per year. This boom has not only benefitted Vienna, but Graz, Salzburg and Innsbruck as well.
When compared to 2014, the months between May and September experienced an increase of 3.9% with 62.48 million overnight stays.
One possible reason WiFo presented for the increased demand of mountain regions over the summer season was the ever advancing climate change. While winter sports largely depend on unpredictable weather development, the mountains present themselves as a cool refuge for hot summer months. Meanwhile, the tourism in metropolitan areas remains unaffected by hot summer temperatures.