The first four months of the current winter tourist season in Austria - November 2020 - February 2021 - were practically a complete failure, economists at the Vienna Institute for Economic Research conclude.
In the analysis of the Institute, which was presented today in Vienna, it is expected that the turnover in tourism in 2021 will be reduced by half compared to the pre-crisis year of the coronavirus, in 2019.
While for retail in the second week of February 2021 the lockdown imposed in early November 2020 was lifted, hotels and restaurants continued to be closed and only business travelers and treatment facility visitors were allowed to use accommodation.
As a result, visitor arrivals fell by 95,1% year-on-year while overnight stays and revenue fell by 93,5%, according to the Institute for Economic Research in its analysis of the tourism situation.
The Austrian capital and the L στηnder of Western Austria were hardest hit: overnight stays and turnover in Vienna fell by 94,4%, in Salzburg, Tyrol and Vorarlberg by an average of 97,4%.
In Lower Austria, about 37% of the 2019/2020 level has been achieved through the continued operation of health resorts, housing for workers (especially in the construction industry) and sporting events, the Institute's economists explain.
Also in Upper Austria and Burgenland, despite the lockdown, at least about a quarter or a fifth of last year's already reduced overnight level and turnover could be achieved.
In a normal winter, February is the most important winter month with about a quarter of the number of seasonal nights this year, with only about 184.900 arrivals and 912.800 nights, the result in February was 96% and 95,5% lower respectively. from the comparative price for 2020.
The Institute for Economic Research predicts the resumption of operation of the accommodation in mid-May at the earliest.
The dramatic reduction in overnight stays is likely to lead to a wave of bankruptcy in tourism, "however, we do not expect this to happen this year, but probably in the coming years, when the loans taken by businesses will have to be repaid," he said. Tourism Economist Oliver Fritz Institute.