Switzerland Tourism has been operating in Austria since 1925. Austrian Travellers are valued as one of the highest daily spenders of Europe. They are public transport- and touring lovers. Hereafter you find the most important market information.

Directory

  1. Know the basics
  2. Bi-monthly market update
  3. Localized annual plan 2024

Know the basics

AddressSchweiz Tourismus
Schwindgasse 20
1040 Wien
Market ManagerUrs Weber, Market Manager Austria
Contact+43 1 513 26 40 11
urs.weber@switzerland.com
LinkedInwww.linkedin.com/in/urs-weber/

Meet the Team

The 3 team members in charge of the Austrian market are based in Vienna, which are passionate to promote the travel destination Switzerland to current and future Austrian travellers.

Research and reports

  • ST market research page –– here
  • ST Research Report 2023 –– Download here
  • ST TMS 2017 –– Download here

Market activities

Last updated: 01/25/24 by ESW

Market update and reporting of finalized activities 2023

Click here for selected marketing activities in 2023.

Reporting 2024

Click here for our „Reporting Central“ database. With this database, Switzerland Tourism provides partners who participate in joint activities with a direct insight into the corresponding results.

Localized annual plan 2024

Last updated: 01/24/24 by UW

Market Situation

The current government, led since four yours through a conservative-green coalition is not particularly popular; all election forecasts count with a distinct increase of votes for the rightwing-party FPÖ. Next elections will be held in spring 2024 (European Union / EU) resp. in summer / fall (Austrian parliament); it is therefore expected that the political parties will continue promising “gifts” (e.g. “helicopter money” as in 2023, lowering VAT and other taxes, etc.).

The FPÖ will try to protect “the real Austrians” – i.e. is migration-skeptical, lower taxes, reduce number of laws / regulations (particularly from the EU).

The following issues are considered as the currently biggest challenges in Austria: Inflation / high interest rates for loans / Fear of de-indstrialization and recession. Clima change, geopolitical crisis are also influencing voting tendencies.

Customer spendings generally are rather defensive; the population feels the high inflation in its daily life / regular household-spendings (e.g. groceries, energy, rent,…)

Economy

Economic activity has slowed considerably and is expected to fall by 0.4% in 2024. High inflation is weighing on consumption (AT has one of the highest inflation rates within Europe). Growth will slowly pick up to 0.6% in 2024, followed by 1.5% in 2025 (OECD). Higher real wages will support consumption in 2024.

Investment activity will remain subdued (rising labor cost, high interest for loans). Unemployment will rise slightly – but generally, the lack of sufficient educated staff is bigger than the problem „unemployment“.

Travel industry

Various surveys and indicators suggest that Austrians are still keen to travel, tour operators are positive for the upcoming summer 2024. However, lower- but particularly also the middle class is much more cautious / reluctant to book. Hotel- & restaurant- plus particularly also prices in skiing areas have increased 2023/24 considerably, resulting in shorter stays, lower-class hotels. Switzerland with its strong franc will therefore appeal even more to the upper class in the coming year, while the middle class will lose out to other neighboring eurozone countries and domestic tourism. Every early summer, a study is published according to which the equivalent / value received for the money spent on holidays is -compared to other travelling destinations – the lowest in Switzerland.

One of ST Austria’s most important key accounts – ÖBB Railtours – produces since 2022 its own Traumzüge catalog („Dream panoramic trains“ – published for the first time in 2022) with approx. 70% train trips within Switzerland, almost tripling Switzerland-bookings compared to the pre-corona period. The scope of Switzerland train trips has even been extended, also with not-yet-so famous routes (e.g. Voralpen Express). 

Other tour operators such as RUEFA and Eurotours (both belong to Österreisches Verkehrsbüro, the largest travel group in Austria; they also produce for Aldi Suisse Tours, Aldi Deutschland, Hofer Reisen, Tchibo Deutschland, Just Away, etc.) see good opportunities for products such as an „Alpine cruise“: the strength of Switzerland in connection with the four languages spoken and cultural regions, “rooted” and authentic products / offers in combination with the top public transport offer and the even more spectacular nature. 

As a result, Swisstainable is attractive, sustainability an argument which travel and event organizers are increasingly taking up. However, the willingness to pay extra for sustainable offers is still limited. But tour operators (such as Eurotours) see advantages integrating such offers – and they are ready to include according demands from our side in our agreements / contracts: “This year, Aldi Reisen has 15 Swisstainable hotels in its programs. 2025 we would like to have 30, 2026 45”. 

Bus operators such as Sabtours Touristik, Fischer Reisen, Kneissl Touristik, Gruber Reisen, Retter Reisen, Mitterbauer Reisen, Gegg, etc. as well as outdoor tour operator such as Eurofun („mother“ of Eurotrek) are retaining their Swiss program. 

In 2024, ST Vienna will re-evaluate some tour operators: e.g. a hiking and mountain sports specialists in Innsbruck, the study-trip-specialist Kneissl Touristik.

Travel behavior

In our view, the success of the panoramic trains and the „experience“ of the Bernina & Glacier Express can also have a positive impact on other routes in the coming years: GoPEx, Voralpen Express, GoldenPass as well as „hidden gems“ – one of the communication strongpoints of ST Austria.

Travellers from Austria are among the most generous European guests, spending per person per day nearly as much as guests from Luxemburg, nearly 50% more than guests from Germany. The challenge is that Austrians are far too unaware that our mountains and cities are very different from those in Austria and Germany.

ST Vienna will (further) strengthen the communication of the following topics in 2024:  Touring / Cities / “Hidden Gems” / Swisstainable / off-season.

Personas

Max & Kris are the typical representatives of the target groups we focus on: goals and wishes of these two fictitious people are at the heart of our marketing work – in order to best achieve your goals.  This does not mean that we ignore everyone else: Austria also has a lot of active skiers and hikers, luxury city travelers, shoppers and culture lovers. But the focus is on the Max & Kris personas here.  

Key Performance Indicators

Final 2023Budget 2024
Bed nights hotels331’662
Turnover Total (CHF)63 Mio.
Growth 2022 – 20230,7%
Campaigning & Activation*
·      Top-Marketing Contacts59’744’47250’000’000
·      Customer reactions
·      Tracked Sessions on MyS.com per year 585’038 550’000
·      Bouncing Rate on MyS.com%n/a
·      Engagement Rate on MyS.com50,78%50%
·      Engagement Rate on Social Media%n/a
Media work (KMM)*
·      Top-Coverage articles6260
·      Top-Coverage media contacts32’204’42325’000’000
·      Qualified Interactions with KMM103100
Trade (KAM)*
·      Influenced overnight with tour operators 160’634110’000
·      Influenced revenue with tour operators 30.520.46020.900.000
·      Specific group and FIT packages2925
·      Qualified Interactions with KAM320350
·      Meetings: RFP’s 00
·      Influenced revenue business events00
·      Qualified Interactions with business accounts00
Partner cooperations
·      Investments tourism partners 161’790 133’000