Canola oil boat engine bid as Lake Neusiedl season starts

Burgenland tourism bosses hope for more stays at the province’s Lake Neusiedl this summer after lakeside overnights in January and February soared by 25 per cent year on year.Tourism shipping transfer services at the lake – which is the second-largest steppe lake in Central Europe – started this morning (Fri), and lakeside towns have invested millions in renovation measures of their attractions.Podersdorf officials spent around one million on refurbishing the local camping site, while the new lakeside restaurant in the town of Rust will open next year as construction at the 1.6-million-Euro project is ongoing.The eastern province of Burgenland, which borders Slovakia, Hungary and Slovenia, focuses on offering relax holidays and special deals to families.The recent opening of the St. Martins Therme in Frauenkirchen was named as a main factor for soaring overnight figures in the region so far this year, and tourism officials hope the spa continues to draw an increasing number of guests to Burgenland.Surfers and sailors meanwhile arrived at Lake Neusiedl, where water temperatures currently range between 13 and 15 degrees centigrade, and thousands of Austrians and international guests have booked rooms for Easter holidays at the lake.Provincial agriculture councillor Werner Falb-Meixner recently revealed the plan was to equip all touristic trip ships and boats at Lake Neusiedl with vegetable oil engines.The People’s Party (ÖVP) politician said the local government would subsidy the acquisition of such engines costing around 4,500 Euros by up to 40 per centShipping companies in Mörbisch already issued several of their ships with vegetable oil motors over the past few years.Falb-Meixner said the local shipping companies could order canola oil from the Großwarasdorf oil mill. Fifteen canola oil-harvesting farmers are in the service of the firm.He appealed to companies to replace their current boat engines with vegetable oil models to avoid the possible contamination of the lake and its precious nature resort in case of an accident.