Russian overnight stay rise results in Viennese record

More interest by Russians and Swiss have helped the Viennese tourism sector to celebrate a new record.

The city’s hotels counted 1.185 million overnight stays last month. Officials pointed out yesterday (Weds) Vienna had never recorded more stays by tourists in that month ever before. Thirty per cent more overnight stays by Russians and a 21 per cent jump of stays at hotels and guesthouses by people from Switzerland are responsible for the boom – which occurred despite a significant decline of overnight stays by Austrians (minus 15 per cent). The number of overnight stays by holidaymakers from China (plus 50 per cent) and Spain (plus 13 per cent) rose as well compared to August 2010. At the same time, 28 per cent fewer residents of countries of the Arab region decided to spend their holidays in Vienna.

The August 2011 figures range 4.5 per cent above overnight stay numbers of the same month of last year. More than 7.4 million overnight stays took place at Viennese hotels of all price categories in the first eight months of this year, up by 4.6 per cent compared to the same period of 2010.

Around 81 per cent of hotel rooms were occupied last month, down by two per cent compared to August 2010. However, tourism business managers emphasised that the number of available beds increased by 2,500. The industry’s capacity is set to rise further as some high-profile hotel projects are in the pipeline, including the construction of a Park Hyatt five-star resort in the city centre.

The federal tourism industry will benefit from Vienna’s figures for last month. Around 30.36 million overnight stays were registered across the country between May and July 2011, around 1.7 per cent more than in the same months of 2010. Economy Chamber (WKO) official Hans Schenner recently said he was confident most hotel managers and restaurant bosses would be able to look back on a good summer season this year – despite several cold and rainy weeks in July.

News that hotels in Vienna registered more overnight stays than ever before in August comes days after the Romanian National Statistics Institute (INS) presented a 4.1 per cent increase of overnight stays by Austrians last July compared to July 2010. INS added that 2.67 million overnight stays took place in the country overall that month, 26.7 per cent more than in the same month of last year.