In 2018, Austria’s federal capital and provincial capitals once again proved to be the driving force behind Austria’s tourism industry. With 24.4 million overnight stays, an all-time record was reached. The growth (5.2%) significantly exceeds that of the total number of overnight stays (3.7%) across the central European country.
“These figures clearly show how positively Austrian cities can stimulate the entire growth of the tourism industry,” emphasized Norbert Kettneer, Managing Director of WienTourismus. Statistik Austria reported that Austria closed the full year 2018 with 149.8 million overnight stays and 3.7% growth. Without the above-average growth of cities, it would be 3.4%.
The upward trend in city tourism is unbroken. This is also confirmed by the long-term comparison. Since the year 2000, arrivals in Austrian cities have more than doubled, while overnight stays have risen by 96%. Throughout the whole country, the growth in arrivals was 70%, while that of overnight stays 32%.
The share of nine cities in the total number of Austrian overnight stays increased from 11% in 2000 to 16% in 2018, while in the case of arrivals the share of cities increased from 22% to 27% in the same period. St. Polten achieved the highest growth of all cities in 2018 – with an increase of 26.6% to 174,000 overnight stays. Meanwhile, Vienna registered 16.5 million overnight stays, thus generating around two-thirds of all Austrian city visitors.
The growth of city tourism in Austria continues even in the colder months of the year. In February, Vienna achieved a new record with 945,000 visitors. An increase of 10.6% compared to the year before. The turnover is also developing positively, with accommodation companies generating net revenues of around 51.5 million euros in January.
Kettner sees particular growth potential for the incoming tourism industry in the coming years, above all from the Asian region, in North America but also in Europe itself. Moreover, the director has high hopes for the overall strategy that is to be presented by the Federal Ministry of Sustainability and Tourism later this month.
Overnight stays in Austria's Provincial Capitals in 2018 (Source: Statistik Austria):
Vienna 16.483.000 (+ 6.3 %)
Salzburg (City) 3.141.000 (+ 3.2 %)
Innsbruck (City) 1.743.000 (+ 6.0 %)
Graz 1.129.000 (- 2.7 %)
Linz 822.000 (+ 4.8 %)
Klagenfurt 427.000 (- 0.7 %)
Bregenz 386,000 (+ 1.8 %)
St. Pölten 174,000 (+ 26.6 %)
Eisenstadt 56,000 (+ 2.4 %)
Total: 24,362,000 (+ 5.2 %)