Tourism in Austria

Tourism forms an important part of Austria's economy, accounting for almost 9% of the Austrian gross domestic product.[1] As of 2007, the total number of tourist overnight stays is roughly the same for summer and winter season, with peaks in February and July/August.[1]

In 2007, Austria ranked 9th worldwide in international tourism receipts, with 18.9 billion US$.[2] In international tourist arrivals, Austria ranked 12th with 20.8 million tourists.[2]

Vienna attracts a major part of tourists, both in summer and winter.[1] Salzburg receives about a fifth of tourist overnight stays compared to Vienna, which ranks it 2nd in the summer season.[1] In the winter season, a number of winter sport resorts in western Austria overtake Salzburg in the number of tourist overnight stays: Sölden, Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Ischgl, Sankt Anton am Arlberg, and Obertauern.[1]

Visits to Austria mostly include trips to Vienna with its Cathedral, its "Heurigen" (wine pubs) and romantic Waltz music events. Worth a visit are Salzburg, birthplace of Mozart, Innsbruck, capital of Tyrol surrounded by the Alps, and the Danube valley with its vineyards, for example the Wachau or Dunkelsteinerwald, which are between Melk and Krems. In the western part of the country the province Vorarlberg reaches the Lake Constance, in the eastern part Neusiedler See. The three most visited landmarks in Austria are Schönbrunn Palace (2,590,000 visitors per year), Tiergarten Schönbrunn (2,453,987 visitors) and Mariazell Basilica (1,500,000 visitors).[3]

Of great touristic importance are the Austrian skiing, hiking and mountaineering resorts in the Alps as well as family-friendly recreation areas (e.g. the Witches's Water in Tyrol). The same applies to the numerous Austrian lakes (e.g. Wolfgangsee and other lakes in the Salzkammergut east of Salzburg or Wörthersee in Carinthia) and castles.

For visitors interested in Media Art, there is the Ars Electronica Center in Linz. Since 1979 this center has organized the Ars Electronica Festival and presented the Prix Ars Electronica, the worldwide highest-ranked prize for media art.

Arrivals by country

Most visitors arriving to Austria on short term basis are from the following countries of nationality:[4]

Rank Country 2014 2015
1 Germany 11,750,027 12,134,836
2 Netherlands 1,671,581 1,734,453
3  Switzerland 1,309,660 1,400,251
4 Italy 1,051,490 1,122,936
5 United Kingdom 802,552 875,664
6 China 497,925 715,119
7 Czech Republic 660,086 711,351
8 United States 632,512 708,233
9 France 516,770 517,708
10 Belgium 514,264 514,329
11 Hungary 493,055 501,595
12 Poland 425,730 456,615
13 Spain 309,794 348,768
14 Denmark 264,704 331,507
15 Russia 467,565 313,406
16 South Korea 234,557 277,032
17 Romania 264,704 275,806
18 Japan 245,306 236,621
19 Sweden 205,501 224,258
20 Slovakia 176,760 194,186
Total foreign 25,291,371 26,718,945

Notes and references

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "TOURISMUS IN ÖSTERREICH 2007" (PDF) (in German). BMWA, WKO, Statistik Austria. May 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-18.
  2. 1 2 "UNTWO World Tourism Barometer, Vol.6 No.2" (PDF). UNTWO. June 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-18.
  3. Die wichtigsten Sehenswürdigkeiten in Österreich
  4. Tourismus in Österreich 2015
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Austria.

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