Austria less popular as holiday destination among locals

The number of Austrians spending their vacation within the country may decline, a travel poll suggests.Europ Assistance said today (Weds) 64 per cent of interviewed Austrians said they planned to go on holiday this summer, up by three per cent from last year. The insurance company said that just 20 per cent of them had plans to spend their vacation in the country. More than one out of three (34 per cent) said the same when the company carried out its annual summer travelling survey in 2010.The insurer announced it also found that Austrian vacationers were ready to spend 2,345 Euros on their summer period trips this year, three per cent more than in 2010. It pointed out that only Belgians (2,605 Euros) had a higher holiday budget in Europe.Only some weeks ago, Federal Economy Chamber (WKO) official Hans Schenner said hotels and guesthouses must make more effort in trying to attract Austrian holidaymakers as the number of citizens of the country choosing resorts within the border is in decline. Schenner rubbished claims that the domestic market was already saturated.The number of overnight stays by Austrians and tourists from abroad at Austrian hotels declined by 2.1 per cent to 42.59 million from the 2009/2010 skiing holiday season to the most recent winter vacation period (November 2010 to February 2011).The performance of the Austrian tourism industry is an essential factor for the domestic economy. The sector makes up around 18 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP). Around 20 per cent of jobs in Austria are linked to the tourism industry.