Wave of Spanish guests ahead for Vienna

Vienna is set for a strong increase of tourists from debt-ridden Spain, according to new research.The Vienna Tourism Indicator (VTI), which checks various tourism statistics, shows that the number of people from Spain visiting the Austrian capital will rise dramatically. The southern country currently has the highest unemployment rate among the European Union’s (EU) 16 member states which have adopted the Euro as their currency (Eurozone). Around one in five Spaniards is currently out of work.Schönbrunn Palace management chief Franz Sattlecker said today (Tues) places like Vienna may benefit in a certain way from the credit crunch since it leads to a decline of summer holidays of one or two weeks in favour of shorter city trips.Sattlecker, whose company supervises the VTI, added research also suggested that the number of tourists from crucial markets like Germany and Eastern Europe (EE) would jump during the coming six months. Slight decreases are reported for holidaymakers from Italy and Japan, he added.The Schönbrunn Palace management chief said shrinking hotel room prices were a key aspect that led to the overall positive development.Online hotel comparison platform Trivago, however, found that a double room in the city cost 125 Euros a night on average in September, up from 113 Euros in August. These findings mean Vienna was currently the 11th most expensive destination among Europe’s 50 most popular cities that month.Hotels and guesthouses in the Austrian capital registered 4.8 million overnights in the first half of this year, up by 12.9 per cent year on year. The figure also meant the city had the best first six months of the year in history.Schönbrunn Palace was once more the most popular sight of the city with 2.467 million visitors last year, down from 2.581 millions in 2008. Around one million people visited the attraction between January and June of this year, according to Sattlecker, who claimed the sight was set for the best year in history as far as visitor figures were regarded.Meanwhile, the Viennese Economy Chamber (WKW) said it expected guests of the more than 450 balls taking place in the city between this month and next March to pour 74 million Euros into the capital’s economy.WKW also said around 250,000 of the 1.7 million Vienna residents planned to visit at least one of events. The State Opera ball is widely regarded as the season’s highlight. The event, which attracts stars from all over the world year after year, will take place on 3 March.