Austria is a country of traditional active, cultural and "green" tourism. Tourism is an important part of the Austrian economy, accounting for almost 9% of the Austrian gross domestic product.
A visit to Austria usually includes a trip to Vienna, visiting pubs and enjoying the Vienna Waltz music. Mozart's birthplace, Salzburg, is popular, as is Innsbruck, the capital of Tyrol surrounded by the Alps. In the western part of the country, the Voralberg region borders the picturesque Lake Constance.
Austrian skiing and hiking attracts the most tourists. For those interested in art, Austria has many museums and theaters.
Tourism is a significant source of income for Austria today, covering the traditionally negative trade balance. The dynamics of tourism development, spending on it and profits from it has common features with similar indicators in Switzerland. From 1964 to 1990, tourism expenditures grew at a high rate and increased 28 times, income from tourism increased 11 times, and the tourism surplus - 6 times.
The tourism surplus during the post-war decades has been the most important source of covering the trade deficit for Austria. But in the 1970s and 1980s, financial receipts from tourism declined:
Tourism development in Austria is driven by the following factors:
Every fifth able-bodied citizen works in tourism and hospitality, about 330,000 people. In 2013, the volume of direct value added in this sector of the economy amounted to about 5.% of the GDP of 18 billion euros. The largest tourist market in Austria is the sixth in Europe and the eleventh in the world. Austria is in first place in terms of income per tourist - 1,750 euros.
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The Austrian Alps are literally riddled with a network of hiking trails of various difficulty levels. It is an ideal destination for mountain hikers.
1. The beauty and variety of mountain landscapes Austria is a small area, but an amazing country, in which there is an extraordinary variety of unique landscapes and landscapes: from valleys and lakes to snow-capped Alpine peaks. Active travelers will be able to see in a short time mountain rivers and lakes with the purest drinking water, waterfalls such as the Krimmler Waterfalls, majestic glaciers such as Kitzsteinhorn, ice caves, including the world's largest Eisriesenwelt Werfen.
2. Hiking trail markings for independent hikes All trails in the Austrian Alps have a clearly organized navigation system. The paths are marked with clear signs: on the trees and stones you can see icons in the colors of the national flag, and at the intersections there are arrows indicating the direction, route length, estimated travel time and difficulty level. Therefore, even inexperienced tourists will find it very easy to navigate and independently go through the entire route from start to finish.
3. Modern liftsThe lifts in the Austrian Alps do not stop working in the summer. Tourists can use convenient lifts and funiculars in order to quickly climb directly to the panoramic platforms, without spending a lot of effort to overcome the height, and then go down on foot along the scenic trails.
When I was little and my dad decided to put me on alpine skis, he showed me photographs of snow-capped mountains, which I was delighted with. Motivating me to break away from the cartoons and go to train, he talked about how we will conquer the alpine peaks. And now, after a couple of seasons in Dmitrov near Moscow, we are going to Austria - a country famous for its ski resorts, attracting thousands of winter sports lovers from all over the world.
Development of Austrian ski tourism
It should be noted that today mountain tourism accounts for about 21% of the country's total GDP. When did this era of the ski industry in Austria begin? The first mentions of alpine skiing, more or less close to its modern form, date back to the beginning of the 19th century. And already in 1893, Franz Reisch, the mayor of the then little-known and small town of Kitzbühel, for the first time in Austrian history, made a skiing downhill from the Kitzbüheler Horn mountain. A couple of years later, the first ski competitions were organized there, which soon became international. A few more years later, the first ski club in Austria was founded, the first ski school was opened, and the first sports cable car was built. In 1935, Kitzbühel is visited by the Prince of Wales, thanks to whom today Austria is called the international capital of skiing. After him, thousands of British amateur skiers began to come to Tyrol every year. The peak of this "pilgrimage" came in the 70s, when the whole world was talking about the legend of Austrian skiing, Franz Klammer. At this time, such giants as Courchevel and Val-d'Isere began to sound the alarm, fearing the loss of their popularity, and began to create large ski resort areas, combining several slopes in one place.
Today, according to experienced skiers, Austria offers better value for money than even the most popular resorts in the French Alps.
Getting to the Austrian ski resorts is easy. You can fly to Vienna, Innsbruck, Salzburg, Zurich or Munich airports and rent a car upon arrival. You can also get to the resort by public transport, since rail and bus connections are very developed in European countries. This option is suitable for those who go to ski only to one resort and do not carry ski equipment with them. Many people travel to Austria in winter by their own cars, significantly saving on air tickets and car rental on the spot.
The best time for skiing is from December to March, but do not forget that on New Year's holidays, prices, mainly for housing, skyrocket. If you are traveling on these dates, you need to take care of booking a hotel in advance - it happens that for several months it is impossible to find at least one free room.
As for the off-season, everything here entirely depends on the weather - sometimes even in November the snow cover is not yet sufficiently settled, which greatly spoils the overall experience of skiing. If you really want to go to ski resorts, for example, in April - choose the one located on the glacier - as an option, Sölden or Kaprun near Zell am See.
Austria is a very picturesque country. The sights of Austria attract millions of tourists every year. We tried to highlight the brightest - both natural attractions and places created by people.
Hallstatt (Hallstatt), Salzkammergut, Austria
A small town on the shores of the alpine lake Hallstattsee. The most photographed place in Austria. It is so beautiful that the Chinese built a copy of it, and UNESCO included it in its lists of historical heritage.
Hallstatt is located off the main hiking trails, in one of the mountain valleys of Upper Austria. This is an old town of the 12th century, in which only 920 people now live, while more than 1 million tourists visit it annually. There are only two streets in the city, and now to get into the city, you first need to go around it along the tunnel in the mountain, park, and go for a walk into the city. Immediately above the city, there are the oldest salt mines in Europe, salt has been mined here for more than 3000 years, and is still on an industrial scale, well, this is the main souvenir for tourists in Hallstatt.
Above the city, at an altitude of 360 meters, a breathtaking (from the beauty of the lake, mountains and town) observation deck was built here, you can come here by funicular or climb on foot, then the path will lead to the salt mines.
In winter and summer, a boat runs along Lake Galshat. In winter, it brings passengers from the railway station, and in summer there are also sightseeing trips around the lake. The town from the water is especially charming.
And although there are many sights and antiquities, Hallstatt is primarily a serene, pastoral picture of a beautiful, neat town on the shores of an ideal lake.
If you have not been to thermal complexes, then you have not been to Austria. And the Aquadom baths are one of the best in Austria. In the heart of Tyrol's Ötztal valley, near one of the most popular ski resorts of Solden. In the village of Längenfeld, on the spot where there was a hot spring with thermal water, a huge thermal complex was built. It is especially pleasant to relax in it on a frosty evening, skiing.
Three huge bowls were built here under the open sky: thermal water with a jacuzzi, a sulphurous bowl, and a bowl with music and color music under water for complete relaxation.
There is a full swimming pool, children's area and even slides. But what is worth coming here for is the SPA-zone and the sauna area (7 different types), the relaxation rooms will give you a day of rest and complete relaxation. The water temperature in the baths ranges from 8 to 36 degrees Celsius, your body will thank you for these contrasts.
Cold and dull slush outside. It's chilly, gloomy, I don't want to wake up, crawl out from under a warm blanket, go to work. Autumn depression, especially in November, when the gold of the foliage is no longer pleasing to the eye, gives us a lot of trouble, spoils our mood, reduces efficiency and even adversely affects our well-being. How to deal with this feeling of tiredness and weakness?
Keep your nose up and tune in to the positive. New Year's holidays are ahead, and in order not to be depressed, it makes sense to start preparing in advance. In addition to the beloved New Year and Christmas, winter gives us a great reason to feel like children, to have fun with all the heart. Well, a few extra weekends give us a great excuse to arrange a winter vacation. You can take them anywhere, but it is better to go on a real trip to Europe. These can be tours to Germany, the Czech Republic or a ski vacation in Austria or Switzerland. Why exactly there? Firstly, it is not as expensive as, for example, Goa or Thailand, and secondly, the Western European manner of celebrating Christmas is closer and dearer to our people than celebrating the New Year on the beach under the scorching sun.
You can spend the very New Year holidays in Germany in a great way. However, if there is an opportunity, it is better to go to this country in advance, even before Christmas. The fact is that traditional Christmas markets are held annually in Frankfurt, Munich, Nuremberg and Dresden. They begin in November and last until December 24, that is, until Christmas. This is the best way to get rid of autumn melancholy. It is enough to get into the whirlpool of the fair, when music plays and songs are sung, processions and carnivals are arranged, all kinds of sweets and drinks are sold. Dances and fireworks, Christmas muffins and drinks, delicious sausages and indispensable beer, in a word, fairs before Christmas in Germany are just a paradise for gourmets and lovers of simple and understandable pleasures. However, even after Christmas, the atmosphere of the holiday does not leave the streets of German cities. Huge fir trees rise in the center of each of them, colored with lights and garlands. If at Christmas it is customary to gather at home, at a table filled with many dishes, led by a goose with cabbage and apples, then on New Year's Eve the Germans rush to the streets to loudly and noisily greet the next year. On New Year's Eve in Berlin, tens of thousands of people enjoy fireworks and festivities.
If you want not only to have fun, but also to finally learn how to ski, then a vacation in Austria is what you need. Ski resorts Mayrhofen, Tyrol, St. Anton will provide an opportunity not only to master ski slopes of various difficulty levels, but also to enjoy dazzling snowy landscapes, breathe in the frosty air and swim in hot thermal springs. Even if you've never skied or snowboarded before, there is nothing to be afraid of. Experienced instructors will come to your aid, and by the end of the trip, you can proudly present photos from the slopes. After such an active holiday, you can visit the neighboring alpine village and enjoy the mountain flavor. However, there is a treat for your stomachs too. Delicious schnitzels and sausages, mulled wine and Austrian beer will delight real men, but the traditional Austrian tender strudel will make ladies forget about their diet. And if you have enough strength, you can go on excursions to Vienna, Salzburg, Linz, Graz or Innsbruck.
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