TRAVEL GAZETTE – The Austrian 2015-2016 winter season has seen both visitor number and overnight stay records broken, Statistics Austria said on Wednesday.
Despite relatively warm temperatures and a lack of snow, overnight stays for the season, which runs from November to April, climbed four percent to reach 68.53 million.
The previous record, set just a year earlier in the 2014-2015 season, was 65.85 million overnight stays.
The most popular destination was the state of Tyrol, known for its ski resorts, with 26.75 million overnight stays, followed by Salzburg on 15.12 million, and the national capital Vienna on 6.27 million overnight stays.
All nine states in the country registered positive growth in both overnight stays as well as actual guest numbers.
The number of actual visitors increased 4.9 percent to 18.36 million people, with Tyrol again seeing the largest number at 5.8 million.
Of these 12.9 million were foreign guests, a 5.2 percent increase, and 5.47 million domestic guests, a 4.3 percent increase.
The largest source country of foreign visitors was once again Germany, their numbers increasing 4.5 percent to reach 6.01 million, or almost half of all the foreign visitors.
These were followed by guests from The Netherlands (1.06 million), Switzerland and Liechtenstein (628,400), and Britain (500,600), all of whom saw increased visitor numbers.
Minister of Economy Reinhold Mitterlehner said the record guest and overnight stay figures were a “positive signal for the tourism nation Austria,” and in overall difficult economic times, showed the “strength and competitiveness” of the Austrian tourism industry.