Demand for winter holidays in Austria remains as the Austrian National Tourist Office reveals results of a study looking at the key inbound markets for breaks in Austria over the coming winter 2022/2023.

Austria’s current winter potential study was implemented by the Institute for Tourism and Spa Research in Northern Europe (NIT) in 10 markets – domestic travellers, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland and the UK. The results paint a thoroughly optimistic outlook for Austria’s winter season 2022/2023.

“There is sufficient desire and time for a winter holiday in all the surveyed markets,” said Lisa Weddig, managing director of the Austrian National Tourist Office. “The desire for a holiday increased in most markets compared to the last winter season. It can be however assumed that the current global economic situation, which is characterised by high inflation, has an influence on booking behaviour. At the same time, the majority of respondents expect their own economic situation to remain the same or to improve. The number of firm Austria planners -people who are most likely to plan a winter holiday in Austria, has returned to the pre-Covid level at 17 million travellers. From today’s perspective, we can therefore expect a good winter.”

Christmas atmosphere in Bregenz old town in Voralberg (Photo: Böhringer Friedrich, CC BY-SA 3.0 AT, via Wikimedia Commons)

Winter sports remain popular

According to the study, Austria will be among the top destinations in the markets surveyed over the coming winter as demand for winter sports tourism grows. “The fact that we are so well placed despite the global choice in travel destinations confirms the work of the industry,” Weddig continues. “In addition, the demand for winter sports holidays and winter holidays in the snow remained stable compared to last winter and the popularity has even increased in some relevant markets. Austria therefore has the right offers for the coming winter.”

One third of those planning to travel over winter said they are also prepared to spend more money on a break than last year despite high inflation and budget restrictions. Potential holidaymakers would however limit their holiday spending in terms of accommodation, the chosen destination and the length of the holiday trip. “We also know from the study that winter travel planners will look for cheaper travel, hygiene and familiarity with the holiday region in the coming winter,” Weddig added. “Austria has holiday options for every budget in Austria, and on the other hand, we showed last winter that a safe holiday is possible here.”

The study also showed that the Covid pandemic has become less important in the booking process: compared to a study looking at the potential for summer breaks, carried out earlier this year, the uncertainty factor in the booking decision is down from 42% to 25%.

Campaigning for a real winter experience

In order to activate the clearly recognisable potential for winter holidays in the relevant markets, Austria NTO “Österreich Werbung” supports the industry with targeted communication. For the coming winter, ÖW, together with 58 partners from all over Austria, launched activities in 11 markets. A campaign has been running since September 2022 under the name “Winter Love – Experience it for real now” in Germany, Switzerland, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Poland.

“Our goal was to translate the successful campaign from last winter for this year,” Weddig added. “Therefore, we combined it with our main campaign 2022 #realAustria to highlight authentic snow experiences with family and friends. In doing so, it is our goal to highlight the diversity of Austrian winter tourism to a large public.”

The Austrian National Tourist Office’s marketing activities for the coming winter will be implemented via a broad marketing mix. This includes a high-reach video campaign in all 11 markets, TV spots, print cooperation and a media offensive.

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