Many Austrians not to go on vacation this year

Almost one in three Austrians have no holiday plans in 2011, a survey shows.The Institute for Leisure and Tourism Research (IFT) and motorist association ÖAMTC announced today (Fri) 29 per cent of Austrians said they would not take a vacation this year. Researchers said that especially people with a low income would not take a holiday.The organisations’ study also shows that 39 per cent of citizens will certainly take some time off within the country or abroad this year, nearly unchanged from last year when 40 per cent said the same.Austria has been identified as the most popular destination with 19 per cent ahead of Italy (17 per cent), Croatia (eight per cent) and Spain and Turkey with seven per cent each.A poll by car club Arbö showed last year that Italy and Croatia are neck and neck as the most favourite destination among Austrians who go on holidays abroad by car (18 per cent).IFT and ÖAMTC announced today that, with 41 per cent, more than four out of 10 Austrians with holiday plans this year will go by car – six per cent more than last year despite jumping petrol prices. Official figures show that one litre of car fuel was 22 per cent more expensive last month than in February 2010.The IFP / ÖAMTC  poll also shows that 35 per cent of Austrians who will go on vacation this year use the internet to do some research in advance – twice as many as in 2003.Meanwhile, new figures show that the Austrian tourism industry is stagnating while Viennese hotels are experiencing a boom.Around 124.9 million overnight stays were recorded in hotels and guesthouses in Austria’s nine provinces including Vienna last year, up by just 0.4 per cent. Stays in resorts in the federal capital soared by 10.3 per cent at the same time to 10.86 million, according to state agency Statistik Austria.There are around 1.1 million hotel beds in Austria. Its tourism businesses generate around 18 per cent of the overall gross domestic product (GDP).Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and the USA have been important markets for the Alpine country’s tourism industry for decades. The Central and Eastern European (CEE) region’s significance has however increased immensely in the past years as more and more people residing in these countries can now afford to go abroad more often or for the first time in their lives.