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Tuesday, 06 February, 2018, 15 : 45 PM [IST]

Austria Tourism to target family & leisure travel from India this year

Having witnessed a steady growth in tourist arrivals and overnights from the Indian market over the past few years, the Austrian National Tourist Office (ANTO) will focus on families and leisure travel this year. According to Christine Mukherji, Director - India, ANTO, the Central European nation recorded 177,700 Indian tourists in 2017, registering a growth of 20.5% compared to 2016, while they witnessed 324,400 overnights, which is a surge of 19.5%. While addressing the media in Mumbai at the Four Seasons yesterday, she said that these numbers are the Official State Hotel Statistics, which “are underestimated figures because of purely being calculated on the number of visitors filling the registration forms.” “For India, our focus this year will be on families, including soft sports activities and leisure travel during summer months,” she stated.

Mukherji said that the cities of Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru, followed by Chennai and Ahmedabad are their key source markets. “We are receiving good traction from Gujarat because the population there prefers travelling with organised group tour operators for availability of vegetarian Indian food. As we are a smaller destination, our focus is only on the major cities in India. However, we rely on social media to reach out to a larger consumer base.”

Moreover, ANTO’s online training programme ACTS (Austria Certified Travel Specialists) for the Indian market currently has 2,500 certified agents. “We are looking at increasing this number through annual competitions and lucky draws,” Mukherji said.

As far as the capital of Vienna is concerned, 2017 was a record year for the city for it received 7.1 million visitors globally (growth of 3.11%) with 15.5 million overnights. From India, Isabella Rauter, Team Manager, Media Management, Vienna Tourist Board, said that they welcomed 58,286 tourists recording a hike of 8.9% with a growth of 10.7% with 127,877 overnights. She said that Schönbrunn Palace is the most visited site in Austria and is also home to the world’s oldest zoo. “Vienna is an apt location for families with an efficient public transport system and a range of activities and products for every age group,” Rauter said.   

The Vienna Tourist Board is celebrating 2018 with the theme, “Viennesse Modernism’ as a tribute to the 4 artists who died in the 19th century - Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Otto Wagner and Koloman Moser.

The city of Salzburg, which is home to 148,500 inhabitants and 12,000 beds, recorded 40,937 overnights from India in 2017, which is a growth of 17.39%. “The success of the growth statistics should be attributed to the location and easy accessibility from Frankfurt and Vienna from Mumbai and Delhi,” the spokesperson from Salzburg said. 

Air India operates flights from Delhi to Vienna three days a week, while Lufthansa offers convenient connections to Munich which is an hour away from Innsbruck.

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