Austria remains one of the most sought-after destinations in the meeting industry. Hotels are profiting increasingly from this development.
“Overall in 2012 over 14,000 events were organized in Austria with more than 1.3 million participants,” said the Petra National Tourist Office (Gf Advertising Austria) during the presentation of the Austrian Meeting Industry Report (mira). This is an increase of 5.5 percent compared with the events in 2011; however the number of participants remained about the same.
Hotels Are Top Venues
Meanwhile, 28 percent of all events are held in convention and conference hotels. Positioned behind them are universities and educational institutions on 24 percent. The sharp increase is of importance to venues such as hotels – four years ago, the proportion was still only at 19 percent. Christian Mutschlechner, president of the Austrian Convention Bureau, emphasized the trend towards smaller meeting and the improved offer of congress and conference hotels. Also, marketing cooperation and proactive occurrence abroad show some effect. “Not only in the cities, but also outside, hotels offer excellent infrastructures for particular conferences,” says Mutschlechner.
Vienna Remains No. 1
2012 found that almost half of all events were taking place in the capital city. Salzburg (14.2 percent) and Steiermark (8.9 percent) were the other popular cities regarding meetings. Also, the most of congress overnight stays were again in Vienna (59.5 percent).
The development of the meetings industry in the summer is encouraging: July and August are considered “low season” in the conventions industry, but in 2012 there was an increase. A total of 2.8 million overnight stays were generated for Austria through conferences, corporate meetings and seminars. Mutschlechner estimates that the overall value is between 1.3 – 1.4 billion euros.