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Korea, Most Dynamic Tourism Market for Austria
Austria Hosts Press Meeting at Westin Chosun Seoul
From left to right: Mr. Werner Somweber, commercial counsellor of the Austrian Embassy in Seoul; Ms. Nancy Choi, director Korea of Austrian National Tourist Office; Ms. Ines Griesser, media manager Korea of Vienna Tourist Board; Mr. Michael Duscher, regional manager of Austrian National Tourist Office; Mr. Nicholas Boekdrukker, int'l marketing manager of Innsbruck Tourist Board

Austria is trying to extend the amount of Korean visitors with a new promotion campaign for the two major cities Vienna and Innsbruck. Therefore the Austrian National Tourist Office and the Vienna Tourist Board as well as the Innsbruck Tourist Board were holding a press conference with an afterwards Austrian luncheon on March 5, 2007.

About 25 journalists attended the conference which was located in the Westin Chosun Hotel in Seoul. Among the speakers were Ms. Ines Griesser of Vienna Tourist Board, Mr. Michael Duscher of Austrian National Tourist Office and Mr. Nicholas Boekdrukker of Insbruck Tourist Board. Among the guests were Mr. Werner Somweber of the Austrian Embassy to Seoul Commercial Office and Mr. Peter Merhar of the Vienna Tourist Board.

With an increase of 40 percent of Korean visitors to Austria in 2006, Korea was the most dynamic tourism market for the European country. Koreans are also among the visitors who spend most money when visiting Austria. 52 pecent of Korean tourists chose four or five star Hotels for their overnight stay. That makes them and other Asian tourists the top money spenders when visiting Austria.

Another huge advantage for Austrian-Korean tourism relations will be the reopening of a direct air connection between Incheon, Korea and Vienna, Austria by Korean Air in 2007. This will lead to another increase of Korean tourism in Austria.

For 2007 Vienna, which is the capital of Austria and located in the south eastern corner of Central Europe, close to Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary, chose the slogan Live Art, Love Life for communicating the city's advantages.

"Vienna is a city to enjoy, to relax and to offer new impressions," Mr. Duscher told the audience.

Vienna is trying to emphasize its imperial roots with focus on the very famous empress consort of Austria Sisi, which is known throughout Europe especially through several popular movies about her.

"After the Mozart year 2006 we have a strong focus on imperial Austria this year," Mr. Duscher said.

But not only traditions play a big role in Austria's tourism strategy. With Austria being most famous throughout Europe for its great ski resorts, sport is an important factor.

Austria will also host the European Soccer World Cup in 2008. With Vienna and Innsbruck hosting some of the games and soccer being popular all over the world, this will also lead to an extended tourism flow to the country.

Innsbruck, capital of the Austrian federal state of Tirol could also show an increase of 36 percent of Korean visitors. Its focus lies in culture, sports and nature.

With the establishment of a new train connection between the capital city and the mountains, the providing of free hiking equipment and guides as well as a new golf course in the summer of 2008, the new improvements are even more than in Vienna.

One area, where there's not much need for improvement is the winter sports sector. From Skiing and bobsleigh driving to mountain climbing, nearly everything is offered in Innsbruck. The affection for winter sports in Innsbruck is historical.

"It's the only city in the world, which actually hosted two Winter Olympics Games, in 1964 and 1976," Mr. Boekdrukker explained.

After the press conference, the visiting journalists were invited to a special Austrian luncheon. The main dish was a famous Austrian delicacy called "Tafelspitz," which dates back to imperial times. After the dessert, which consisted of the famous Austrian "Sacher Torte," a fancy cake out of chocolate, the gathering dissolved.



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