2016 brought new high in overnight stays for Vienna

For the seventh time in a row, tourist overnight stays in Vienna reached new record levels last year. The 2016 result is 14.96 million – 4.4 percent increase on the figures reported in 2015.

Couple sitting in a horse-drawn carriage

In spite of difficult geopolitical conditions, Vienna has managed to surpass its 2015 record for overnight stays. The number of arrivals equally went up by 4.5 percent.

Net revenues from overnight stays from January to November 2016 totalled EUR 663.4 million, which means that the local tourist industry registered only a slight decrease in revenues (minus 3 percent) compared to the same period in 2015, which was a year of above-average growth.

Renate Brauner, Vienna’s Executive City Councillor of Finance and Economic Affairs as well as President of the Vienna Tourist Board, also emphasises that 2015 was a particularly strong year, with total revenue growth in the first eleven months amounting to 15.3 percent, i.e. more than twice as much as the increase in overnight stays (plus 5.9 percent). Brauner hopes that good results for the month of December 2016 – after 5 percent revenue growth in November – will add up to a positive overall result for the tourist industry in terms of 2016 revenues.

Countries of origin

Tourists from abroad accounted for about 81 percent of total tourist overnights stays in Vienna last year.

Five out of the top 10 countries of origin for tourists in Vienna – Germany, Austria, Spain, Switzerland and France – had single-figure growth. Double-digit growth rates where registered for visitors from Great Britain – in spite of the weak exchange rate following the Brexit vote – and China, which figured among the top 10 countries of origin for the first time. The US and Italy remained slightly below their 2015 results, while the results for Russia decreased more strongly. At the same time, tourism from other countries like the Netherlands (plus 16 percent), Turkey (plus 9 percent) or India (plus 29 percent) registered above-average growth rates. Japan, the Arabic countries and Australia remained below the figures reported for 2015.

Russia: a trend reversal?

Just in time for the Russia-Austria tourism year 2017, things are starting to look more hopeful again in this respect. Though overall tourism development from Russia in 2016 was still a double-digit drop from 2015, the number of overnight stays by Russian tourists actually increased in October 2016 – for the very first time since February 2014. November and December 2016 also showed a positive trend.

Bed occupancy rates are up, bed capacities down

The increase in the number of overnight stays in Vienna benefited all hotel categories except five-star businesses, which remained slightly below the 2015 result. The average bed occupancy rate increased to 58.3 percent (- plus 1.3 percent from 2015).

From December 2015 to December 2016, the total accommodation capacity of the tourists industry in Vienna decreased from 1.400 to 62.800 hotel beds (minus 2.2. percent).

Marketing budget for 2017: EUR 14.8 million

Norbert Kettner, head of the Vienna tourist board, has announced that the total 2017 marketing budget of EUR 14.8 million will be targeted at the 20 markets (i.e.) countries of origin) that accounted for about 80 percent of all overnight stays in Vienna last year.

The marketing effort is supported by Austrian Airlines as a strategic marketing partner. In 2016, the airline had 5.1 percent more passengers than in 2015. Offering new direct flights to Vienna from 20 major cities worldwide by 2020 is one of the key aims of the Vienna Tourism Strategy.

Motto for 2017: "The rhythm of Vienna"

The 2017 motto of the Vienna tourist board features several musical anniversaries: the famous Blue Danube Waltz was composed 150 years ago, the Vienna Philharmonic celebrates its 175th anniversary this year, and it has been five years since the opening of the new concert hall for the Vienna Boys’ Choir. In addition to classical music, the marketing programme will also focus on Vienna’s thriving club and nightlife scene as well as its regained strength as a city of film music.

Major events and marketing campaigns

In 2017, the Vienna Tourist Board plans to keep up its strategy of holding major PR events promoting Vienna in central locations of international cities. The focus events will be supplemented by digital marketing campaigns, media ads and close cooperation with the local tourism industry. Events will be held in 12 different markets next year, focusing on Australia, Asia and Europe in the first six months.

2017 Beach Volleyball Championships in Vienna

The organisers and the City of Vienna have worked together to ensure the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships will be held in Vienna from 28 July to 6 August. The event is an ideal opportunity for showcasing Vienna’s position as an attractive lifestyle city, addressing new target groups, and promoting Danube Island as a perfect leisure spot in Vienna.

EuroPride 2019

EuroPride 2019 is staged in Vienna from 19 May to 19 June. According to the organisers, the event is expected to attract between 0.9 and 1.5 million visitors from Austria and abroad.

Further information

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