Number of Holiday Trips Back to Pre-Crisis Levels

Lifestyle & TravelTravel ♦ Published: September 27, 2022; 10:13 ♦ (Vindobona)

To mark World Tourism Day, today we turn our attention to tourism in Austria. After the summer, the travel activity of the Austrian population was evaluated. The pleasing result: the Austrian population is travelling more again and is back at pre-crisis levels. Among others, this pleases the airport, which recorded an increase in passenger volume.

Tourism figures are rising again in Austria, but a form of sustainable tourism is now also more important than ever. / Picture: © Vienna Sightseeing

Austria thrives on tourism. With its diverse areas, from high mountains to thriving towns and villages, it appeals to many international tourists. But not only foreigners like to come to Austria. The Austrian population is also very fond of travelling. A new statistic reveals that Austrian travel is now back to pre-pandemic levels.

The Austrian resident population has once again become significantly more eager to travel in the first half of 2022. This is the conclusion of a study by Statistik Austria, which examined the travel behaviour of the Austrian population.

Despite weaker travel activity in the first quarter of 2022 than in the pre-Covid year 2019 , with 14.1% fewer holiday trips (first quarter 2022: 3.53 million holiday trips; first quarter 2019: 4.11 million), the result was lifted significantly in the second quarter. Travel strengthened by 10.4% compared to Q2 2019 to a total of 6.23 million leisure trips.

Business travel in the first quarter of 2022 doubled to 1.71 million compared to the same period last year, but was still 10.1% below the 2019 pre-crisis level of 1.90 million business trips. Almost half of the holiday trips went abroad again.

In the first quarter of 2022, Austrian residents again spent almost half of their holiday trips (46.9%) abroad, compared to just under one in four holiday trips (24.6% or 1.06m) in the first quarter of 2021. This shows a significant increase in confidence in relation to the Covid-19 situation abroad.

The most popular destinations abroad among the Austrian population were Italy (24.6% of trips abroad), followed by Germany (22.1%) and Croatia (9.0%). Long-distance travel was also more in demand again, with the share of long-distance trips in the first quarter of 2022 at 6.0. The number of domestic holiday trips increased by 59.6% to 5.19 million in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the corresponding period of the previous year, but was 4.5% lower than in the first quarter of 2019 (5.43 million).

Vienna Airport with rising passenger numbers

Vienna Airport is also pleased with the increasing travel activity of the Austrian population. After lean years in 2020 and 2021, it recorded rising passenger numbers again this year. At 3,578,491 travellers, passenger volume increased by around 56% at the Vienna location compared to August of the previous year.

Compared to pre-crisis levels, passenger traffic in August 2022 is 87.8% of August 2019 - only about 12% less than before the Corona pandemic. On the busiest travel day this holiday summer, 31 July 2022, passenger traffic already reached 90% of pre-crisis levels, with 102,670 passengers.

United Nations and the Austrian government insist on making tourism sustainable

In the wake of World Tourism Day 2022 (on 27 September), the Austrian government drew attention to the need to make tourism sustainable. "Making tourism sustainable and quality over quantity is the only sensible way forward. We have already set this out in 2019 in the "Plan T - Master Plan for Tourism"," said State Secretary for Tourism Susanne Kraus-Winkler.

"Rethinking tourism" is the focus of this year's World Tourism Day. UNWTO calls on all tourism stakeholders to address how tourism needs to be shaped in the future to become more sustainable, resilient and inclusive.Tourism development has been a model of success in many countries over the past decades, contributing to economic recovery and high employment.

In the pre-crisis year 2019, tourism generated 10 per cent of global GDP and was the employer of one in ten workers. In Austria, too, tourism is a guarantor for local and regional value creation and securing the location.

Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, also drew attention to sustainable tourism in a statement on World Tourism Day. "We must invest in clean and sustainable tourism, lowering the sector's energy consumption, adopting zero-emission pathways and protecting biodiversity. We must create decent jobs and ensure profits benefit the host country and local communities," he said in his statement.

The Secretary General also drew attention to the time pressure: "There is no time to lose. Let's rethink and reinvent tourism and together create a more sustainable, prosperous and resilient future for all."

Statistics Austria
VIA Vienna International Airport
BMAW - Austrian Federal Ministry of Labour and Economy
UNIS United Nations Information Service