Mumbai: Austria saw 177,700 Indian tourist arrivals in 2017, a growth of 20.5 per cent compared to 2016 and 324,400 overnights, which is a jump of 19.5 per cent. These numbers are the official hotel statistics, based on the completed registration forms by guests and hence an underestimation. This year, the Austria National Tourist Office (ANTO) will focus on families and leisure travel, said Christine Mukharji, Regional Director, Asia and Middle East, ANTO at the roadshow in Four Seasons Hotel, Mumbai. Roadshows were held in New Delhi and Mumbai jointly by the Vienna Tourist Board, Salzburg City Tourist Office, Innsbruck Tourist Board, Zel am See- Kaprun and Swarovski Crystal Worlds in Mumbai and New Delhi.
The country had registered a steady growth in tourist arrivals and overnights from the Indian market over the past few years. For India, the focus will be on families, including soft sports activities and leisure travel during the summer months, she said. “Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru followed by Chennai and Ahmedabad are the key markets for Austria. We are seeing good traction from Gujarat because the population there prefers travelling as an organized group to ensure availability of vegetarian Indian food,” informed Mukharji ANTO’s online training program ACTS (Austria Certified Travel Specialists) for the Indian market currently has 2,500 certified agents.
Capital city Vienna received a record 7.1 million visitors globally (growth of 3.11 per cent) with 15.5 million overnights in 2017. According to Isabella Rauter, Public Relations Manager, Vienna Tourist Board, they welcomed 58,000+ tourists spending 1,28,000 bed nights, an impressive 11 per cent increase over 2016. “Schönbrunn Palace is the most visited site in Austria and is also home to the world’s oldest zoo. “For Indian travellers, the biggest attraction for children include The Butterfly House, Prater, an amusement park that houses the Giant Ferris Wheel, House of Music, and of course the Vienna Zoo” Rauter said.
The Vienna Tourist Board is celebrating ‘Modernism’ in 2018 as a tribute to four of the greatest Viennese artists who died in 1918 – painters Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele, architect Otto Wagner and the universal artist Koloman Moser. To mark the centenary of their death, their lives and work will be remembered at numerous exhibitions and events throughout the year. The city of Salzburg, home to 150,000 inhabitants and 12,000 beds, recorded 41,000 overnights from India in 2017, a growth of 17 per cent. “More Indians could have preferred the destination owing to its location and easy accessibility to Frankfurt and Vienna from Mumbai and Delhi,” said Klemens Kollenz, Sales & Marketing Manager, Salzburg City Tourist Office.
Innsbruck in Western Austria is where the first 15 minutes of the Salman Khan starrer ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ was shot, including the hit number ‘Dil Diya Galla’. “India made it to the top 10 markets for Innsbruck with 60,000 visitors last year, a growth of 18 per cent,” said Ishvinder Maddh, India Representative, Innsbruck Tourist Board.
Christian Pfeffer, Sales & Marketing Team, Zell am See-Kaprun said the heart of the Austrian Alps, Kaprun, a small town south-west of Salzburg, is witnessing increased interest among affluent Indians who are looking for a family ski holiday.
Swarovski Crystal Worlds, since its opening in 1995, has become one of Austria’s most frequently visited attractions. This world of fantasy has delivered moments of wonder to over 13 million visitors. Renowned names from art and design have interpreted crystal in their own way, turning the sparkling material into a concept of experience and space – the Chambers of Wonder in Swarovski Crystal Worlds. Christine Gasser, Head of Channel Marketing, Swarovski Tourism Services GmbH, said: “A total of 89,526 visitors came from India in 2017 and is the most important market after Austria and Germany.” Swarovski Crystal Worlds has 16 chambers; four new chambers were added in 2017: ‘Ready To Love’ by designer Manish Arora, ‘Heroes of Peace’ by multimedia artist Andre Heller, ‘Emotional Formation’ by Israeli Arik Levy and ‘El Sol’ by Mexican architect Fernando Romero. Renuka Shorey, Representative, Western India Region, ANTO, was also part of the delegation.