Business / Industries

Austrian tourism industry hopes for more Chinese visitors over winter

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-10-22 10:16

VIENNA - The Austrian tourism industry is hopeful for a successful winter season with a particular emphasis this year on attracting Chinese visitors, head of the Austrian National Tourist Office (OeW) Petra Stolba said Wednesday.

While the OeW said it was confident the industry would be able to keep up the good momentum of recent winter seasons, most notably because the economies of important source countries for tourists were doing well, Stolba said lower tourist numbers from Russia were still of concern, APA reported.

The decline of the Russian currency, the Ukraine crisis, as well as EU sanctions had led to a drop in 2014 of Russian visitors by about one third. Stolba expected a similar outcome over the coming winter.

The domestic industry would thus once again aim to attract more visitor from other countries to compensate, with one of the main focuses this year being on Chinese tourists.

The OeW set aside a special marketing budget of four million euros ($4.5 million) to be used to promote a "mountain experience" in Austria.

Stolba noted, however, that at present Chinese tourists primarily visited the major Austrian cities during their stay and thus a greater shift to mountain regions would be something that would "still take a few years."

It was also noted that China had some 450 skiing areas within its own territory.

Other major source countries for tourists are expected to be Switzerland, Germany, UK, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary.

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