Over the past six years the number of skiers coming from Eastern Europe in the winter season to Austria increased in Dachstein-Tauern region only by ten percent. Every fourth overnight visitor comes from the East reported Steiermark.org.at.
Local providers thus had to adjust to the clientele. For instance a Rohrmooser ski school now employs Russian ski instructors. "This is my second season here. This area is very popular among Russian tourists, most of them are regular visitors," says Russian ski instructor Ksenia Nowokreshenowa.
The majority of Russian guests arrive at the beginning of January during the Russian Christmas holidays. The region has thus no problems in filling the capacities of the local hotels in January. Russians are also mostly well off and spend 50 euros more than other guests a day.
"The average winter holiday visitor spends 129 euros per day, but Russians spend more. They like shopping and going out for meal. Of course they are more than welcome in Austria" says the Georg Bliem, Styria Tourism CEO.
Nevertheless, the economic crisis hit even the Russian middle class. "For the first time we notice a decrease in the number of guests this year," confirms the Schladming Hotelier, Heimo Royer: "But I am optimistic and believe it will be better in the future." Russia together with Poland is considered a promising market for Austria.Related:RUSSIANS STOPPED TO GO ABROAD?