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Growing tourism in Austria benefits new hotel construction projects
Monday, 11th August 2014
50 new hotels in the pipeline – new hotel highlights are the Park Hyatt Vienna and the Ruby Hotel Sofia;

More guests, more overnight stays: the tourism in Austria is increasing by 1,5 Million to a total number of 132,6 Million stays in the past year.

Although the number of German visitors is decreasing, the inflow from Middle and East Europe tourists is increasing. According to TOPHOTELPROJECTS, the worldwide leading provider of global b2b hotel data, currently 50 new hotel projects are under construction. Hotel highlights will be the Park Hyatt Vienna as well as the Ruby Hotel Sofie in Vienna, which will open soon.

Especially in Vienna, the capital, more hotel beds will enter the market. At the main station a new Motel One will arise (530 rooms, opening in autumn 2015) as well as a Novotel (250 rooms, opening in autumn 2016) and an Ibis hotel by the Accor Group (250 rooms, opening in autumn 2016). In spring 2015 a low-budget hotel by Star Inn (300 rooms) will also be inaugurated at the Vienna Central Station.

The most outstanding new hotels in Austria will be the two newcomers Park Hyatt Vienna and the Ruby Hotel Sofia. The new luxury hotel by the Hyatt Group arose in the former National Bank, a century-old building complex is a prime location in the city center, and offers 143 rooms and a gourmet restaurant (with cooking show). The Ruby Hotel - the first of a new series of the so-called New Generation Hotels – was opened in June in the former “Sofiensäle” in the trendy third city district ("BoBo - bohemian & Bourgeoisie").

The business hotel offers 77 modern rooms and captivates through its living hall and retreat places like the library. The latest generation hotel shines with uncomplicated direct booking, check-in via touch screen, super-fast WiFi connection and other innovations; among other the time-consuming check-out process is redundant.

The hotel market Vienna enters the hotel industry as a trendsetter with the newly opened properties. Landmarks are the existing properties The Ring, Kempinski Hotel Palais Hansen and the 25hours hotel, whose roof terrace is one of the top venues for sundowners.

The tourism and leisure industry has a significant role in the Austrian economy. The direct and indirect value of the sector was in 2013 at a total of 46.5 billion Euro, which, according to the Austrian Institute for Economic Research (WIFO) 14.8 percent refers to the gross domestic product (GDP).

The importance of the industry is also reflected in the employment figures. With an absolute increase of nearly 4,400 jobs of core workers, tourism has created more jobs than any other industry in 2013, according to calculations of the Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS). In the past ten years, the number of employees increased by a quarter in the overall economy comparatively only by ten percent. Nationally, nearly 250,000 people working in the industry.

Austria Statistics reported more than 132.6 million overnight stays in 2013. This was 1.2 percent more than the previous record year of 2012. Basis for this figure are 36.8 million arrivals (+1.9%).

The overnight stays in winter season 2013/14 (November to April) declined slightly to 64.49 million (-1.6%) and are therefore about one million underneath the record level of the previous year (65.56 million). Last summer brought the expected success. In summer 2013, a total number of 66.46 million overnight stays were reported (+1.2%).

This growth is primarily due to an increase in foreign visitors, which rose by 1.8 percent to 46 million. The number of domestic guests stood at 20.44 million nights just below the level of the previous season (20.51 million). The number of arrivals was by foreigners (24.81 million) and residents (12.03 million) on record levels. This clearly shows that the travelers stay is getting shorter.

The guest structure is changing further. The loss of visitors from Germany stops, even if there has been an increase of 2.5 percent in 2013 at the overnight stays compared to the previous year. Therefore in 2013 approximately 38% of the overnight stays (50.8 million) were from German tourists.

4Hoteliers Image LibraryBut the share of leisure and business travellers from Central and Eastern Europe increased from 1.5 percent (1992) to 7.9 percent last (2013). Austrians use frequently accommodation offers in their own country, according to the data of Statistics of Austria. Further decent markets with above-average growth in the number of overnight stays in summer were Russia (+9.6%), the United Kingdom (+8.8%) and the USA (+6.5%).

The number of overnight stays spent in hotels and similar establishments developed differently according to categories. Properties of the five-or four-star category (+1.7%) were able to achieve above-average increases. The number in three-star establishments stagnated (0%), while hotels with two or one star, also declined by 1.2 percent. The highest relative increase in reported commercial apartments was an increase of 6.0 percent. By region the highest absolute growth in overnight stays were considered by 0.8 million in Tirol, while in Lower Austria around 200,000 overnight stays hit less impact. Investment willingness increases.

The main reason for the record opinion of the Austrian Hotel Association was the qualitative high deals of top prices: "The price-performance ratio is really convincing," said Gregory High, President of the Austrian Hotel Association. In the tourist areas have been widely expanded. Future investments will focus on the hotspots and there on the high-priced segment. Regarding prices per night there will be some improvements.

According to the Austrian Hotel and Tourism Bank the willingness of tourism businesses increased in 2013 after they fell slightly in 2012. The Government aims to further improve the conditions for the tourism industry, from lower-wage labor costs, simplification of funding settlement to infrastructure measures. The aim is to increase the number of nights to 140 million annually until 2018. The revenue generated by tourism should be then between three billion and five billion euros.

Vienna: More nights than ever in the first half of 2014

"Vienna has again clearly demonstrated its tourist pulling power made in the first half of 2014 with a growth of 5.8% to about 6 million guest nights," said Norbert Kettner, Director of the Vienna Tourist Board.

Vienna's 10 major markets in the first half of 2014 are Germany with 1,213,000 overnight stays at the top (+6% to the same period), followed by Austria (1,157,000, +4%), Russia (322,000, -12%), the USA (319,000, +16%) and Italy (289,000, +18%). In places 6 to 10 followed by UK (213,000, up 5%), Switzerland (187,000, +2%), France (168,000, +2%), Spain (135,000, +1%) and Japan (130,000, -4 %).

Particularly strong growth, compared to 2013, was also China (97,000 overnight stays, +19%) and South Korea (67,000, +27%). The number of international overnight stays at Vienna’s total revenue is around 81%. The average semi-annual utilization of Vienna's rooms was approximately 65% (1-6/2013: around 64%). The bed supply increased from June 2013 to June 2014 to 1,500 beds. Overall, the city has a current accommodation capacity of approximately 64,000 beds.

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