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Austrian holidaymakers are patriots, poll shows

More than one in four Austrians who plan to go on holiday this year will do so in their home country, according to a new poll.

The Fachhochschule (FH) college Salzburg said yesterday (Thurs) 25.1 per cent of people intending to take a vacation of five days or more in 2012 will not leave the country. Italy takes first place among Austrians’ favourite foreign destinations at 13.9 per cent, according to the series of interviews. Croatia follows with 9.1 per cent ahead of Turkey (9 per cent), Spain (6.1 per cent) and Greece (5.4 per cent). More than 11 per cent of those willing to take a break this year are still undecided where to go, according to the FH check.

Researchers also found that 63 per cent of people from households with a monthly income of 3,600 Euros and more would go on holiday this year, up by two per cent compared to 2011. The number of people with a wage of 1,500 Euros or less who will take a vacation is set to drop by 11 per cent to 23 per cent, the poll reveals. Well-educated people, self-employed Austrians and residents of capital Vienna are all strongly represented among Austrians with plans for a holiday in 2012.

The number of people going on holiday will rise from 940 million last year to 1.8 billion in 2030, according to a recent report by the United Nations (UN). The organisation stressed that just 70 million people were able to afford a vacation in 1960.

The Austrian winter tourism industry is confident about being able to repeat its performance from last season (November 2010 to February 2011) when nearly 43 million overnight stays were recorded. Intense snowfall in most parts of the country should be beneficial to the domestic tourism sector, according to experts – who also warn that hotels’ turnover may stagnate or inch back due to more cut-price offers caused by rising competition.

Especially hotels and guesthouses in Vienna did well in recent months despite a worsening of the European economy and fears that news about a possible recession could lead to a cancellation of many people’s vacations. Around 11.4 million overnight stays were counted by tourism businesses in Vienna in 2011 – more than ever before since official statistics began.

The Viennese tourism agency said last month it wanted to spend 14 million Euros on promotion and marketing abroad this year to secure and expand the city’s reputation as a great place for holidays throughout the year.

Detailed analysis of Viennese overnight stay records show that the number of Austrians taking a break in the city dropped by seven per cent to less than 2.1 million from 2010 to last year. At the same time, Chinese holidaymakers were responsible for significantly more overnight stays (plus 32 per cent) in 2011 than in 2010. Hoteliers said the number of overnight stays by people from Russia rose strongly as well (plus 36 per cent).

Hotels in Vienna’s 23 districts will feature approximately 60,000 beds by the end of this year, according to the Federal Economy Chamber (WKO). The chamber stressed that several construction, expansion and renovation projects were in the final phase.

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