Vienna part of European tourism elite

Vienna takes fifth place in a survey checking European city’s tourism competitiveness.

German consulting group Roland Berger investigated the marketing efforts of 24 capital cities in Europe in their battle for vacationers. The firm’s study also considered economic aspects. Roland Berger ranked Vienna in fifth place, neck and neck with Berlin in Germany. Paris in France topped the chart ahead of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, Italian capital Rome and Stockholm, Sweden.

Roland Berger said today (Mon) Berlin managed the most significant rise in overnight stays between 2005 and 2010 (plus 7.3 per cent). Stockholm also did well in this concern (plus 5.7 per cent), according to the research agency’s European Capital City Tourism study. The average increase of overnight stay figures among the 24 investigated cities was 2.4 per cent. Vienna – where 10.4 million overnight stays occurred in the first 11 months of 2011 – achieved a rise of 4.3 per cent from 2005 to 2010.

Paris, London in the United Kingdom and hotels in Rome did best in generating turnover per available room in the past few years, Roland Berger said. Vienna may achieve an all-time record of tourism industry turnover and overnight stay numbers in 2011. However, the sector’s turnover could decline in the coming years due to increasing competitiveness. Dozens of hotels are currently being built and restored all over the city which has 1.7 million residents. The rising number of available rooms is set to send the number of special offers up – a development which could push already struggling hotels on the brink of bankruptcy over the edge.

The number of beds available at hotels located in Austria’s largest city rose by 3.4 per cent between 2005 and 2010. Hotels and guesthouses located in Vienna’s 23 districts will feature 60,000 beds by the end of this year, according to the Federal Economy Chamber’s (WKO) tourism industry department. A standard double room cost 119 Euros last November. The price climbed by 15 Euros in December, according to an investigation by globally operating travel advice service Trivago which checks hotel rates of Europe’s most important holiday destinations.

Roland Berger appealed to Viennese tourism affairs decision-makers not to neglect promoting little known beauty spots of the city. The German business consulting company warned Vienna must not concentrate on doing marketing for its already famous landmarks like Schönbrunn Palace, St. Stephen’s Cathedral and museums located in the city centre. Raising international promotion for other highlights could help the Austrian capital to stay competitive, Roland Berger explained.

Meanwhile, a group of Kazakh investors agreed with Austrian real estate developers to open a Ritz Hotel in a palace situated in the heart of Vienna. The five-star hotel will be located in a building which was once used by the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP). The palace also featured a casino before businesspeople decided to turn it into a lavish hotel. The Ritz Vienna will open its doors in the second quarter of this year, according to Bauträger Austria Immobilien GmbH (BAI).