Austria Fears for Winter Tourism

More+Events ♦ Published: August 21, 2020; 14:01 ♦ (Vindobona)

The upcoming winter will be an immense challenge for the Austrian tourism industry. Tourism operators are requesting general and unified regulations implemented by the government to secure planning and tourists. A major focus will be laid on Après-Ski.

Due to the Coronavirus the upcoming skiing season may look different. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons / Robinseed [CC BY-SA 4.0 (]

At the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic Austria faced very bad publicity due to the formation of the cluster in Ischgl. This year, the tourism industry wants to be prepared and to provide tourists a save holiday. Therefore, unified regulations for whole Austria are necessary.

Gondolas, queues and Après-Ski bars have been identified as the riskiest areas where infections can happen easily and fast.

Until now, the states have been working on their own ideas to provide inputs to the politics. In Carinthia the tourist operators are thinking of a warning system and a mandatory mask wearing in queues and gondolas. Après-Ski should be possible only outside.

In Salzburg, a discussion about an earlier closing hour around 5pm for Après-Ski bars and a visitor limit in skiing areas started. Tourist operators in Tyrol however do not support the idea of earlier closing hours as the problem will be just relocated to hotel bars or pubs.

Tyrol's governor Günther Platter expects a decision from the federal government in early autumn.

The skiing world cup season in Austria might be without any viewers at all. The first two races of the season which are in Sölden and Zürs will be without fans in the finish.

Strict regulations are very important to avoid the scenario from last year. At the beginning of the season, the tourism industry recorded a plus of 7% in accommodation bookings. However, in March the bookings declined by 58,6%. In April nearly 97% of the accommodations got cancelled.