Austria to Become Most Sustainable Tourism Destination in the World

Published: March 26, 2019; 18:35 · (Vindobona)

Sustainability Minister Elisabeth Köstinger presented the "Plan T - Master Plan for Tourism" in Salzburg. This strategy paper is intended to ensure that Austria not only remains one of the leading tourist destinations, but that this position is further strengthened. For the first time sustainability is anchored as a basic principle for tourism. The strategic realignment of Österreich Werbung (ANTO Austrian National Tourist Office) is also on the agenda.

Elisabeth Köstinger (on the right in the picture at her inauguration) presented her vision of the future and action plan for Austrian tourism. / Picture: © / Peter Lechner/HBF

Minister of Tourism Elisabeth Köstinger presented the new federal tourism strategy - Plan T - to around 300 industry representatives in Salzburg together with Governor Wilfried Haslauer and head of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber Petra Nocker-Schwarzenbacher.

"Austria is one of the most successful tourist destinations in the world. For us, tourism is an essential driver of regional development and competitiveness, it creates the basis for prosperity and quality of life throughout Austria. The now available "Plan T - Master Plan for Tourism" outlines ways, ideas and foundations to continue this success story of Austrian tourism", says Köstinger.

For the first time, sustainability is anchored as a basic principle for tourism in Austria - in all its facets.

"The basic prerequisites are economically healthy businesses and intact nature. In future, however, the focus will no longer be on the guest alone - the needs of companies, employees and the local population are just as important. A paradigm shift is taking place here: It is not primarily about tourism destinations that meet the demands of our guests, but about high-quality living spaces in which guests and the population feel equally at home - whether in the city or in the countryside," says Köstinger.

In addition, overnight stays will no longer be the only factor for tourism success in the future. "It is all about value creation, not just overnight stays. It is of no use to anyone if the number of overnight stays rises steadily, but total turnover stagnates," says Köstinger.

Relief for small businesses

In addition, small businesses are to be relieved. The "Plan T", for example, provides for a reduction in the requirements and bureaucracy for these companies. Tax relief is also being sought.

Accommodation companies that have problems in obtaining loans due to low equity ratios are to be helped with new forms of financing.

Annual action plan

In addition, the master plan is to be supplemented by an annual action plan containing concrete implementation steps.

For 2019-2020, for example, the strategic realignment of Österreich Werbung is on the agenda.

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