Austria is one of the leading tourist destinations in Europe. The country’s influential history, rich culture, and fascinating landscape attracted over 30 million international tourists prior to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, making it the seventh most popular European country based on inbound tourist arrivals.

Creating an ode to Austria will require its greatest composers – Mozart, Schubert, Haydn, and more – to once again orchestrate classical pieces, for this country, steeped in history, deserves nothing but its best. Empires rose and fell, monarchs have passed, but Austria’s significance lies not in its tumultuous history but in its constant and lasting beauty. With the Austrian Alps’ looming presence, quiet places such as Innsbruck and Hallstatt seem like places out of a fairy tale. Add the imperial palaces of Vienna, the mystifying lure of the Eisriesenwelt ice cave, and the Sound of Music, Austria is pretty much a fantasy. And the best part? It’s all yours to explore and discover.


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In 2020, the health crisis hit the tourism industry hard, as governments worldwide implemented emergency measures and travel bans to limit the spread of the virus. As a result, the total contribution of travel and tourism to the gross domestic product (GDP) in Austria dropped by nearly 45 percent in 2020 over the previous year. Overall, these industries generated, directly and indirectly, around 485 thousand jobs in 2020, though the total contribution of travel and tourism to employment in Austria experienced an eight percent drop year-over-year.

COVID-19 impact on inbound and domestic tourism in Austria

While the number of international and domestic arrivals in Austria has increased gradually since 2010, the pandemic disrupted this scenario. As inbound arrivals roughly halved between 2019 and 2020, the value of international tourism receipts in Austria shrunk, amounting to 14 billion euros in 2020, the lowest figure recorded in over a decade. That year, Germany represented the leading inbound travel market in Austria, with visitors from the European country spending nearly 22 million overnight stays in Austrian accommodations during the 2020 summer.
As the pandemic impacted inbound travel more than domestic tourism, the number of domestic overnight stays in Austria reached above 22 million between May and October 2020, falling by just five percent over the previous season. That being said, the total domestic tourist expenditure declined by over 45 percent annually, adding up to 9.7 billion euros in 2020.

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