Tourism in Austria forms an important part of the country's economy, accounting for almost 9% of the Austrian gross domestic product. Austria has one guest bed for every six inhabitants, and boasts the highest per capita income from tourism in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. As of 2007, the total number of tourist overnight stays is roughly the same for summer and winter season, with peaks in February and July/August.
In 2007, Austria ranked 9th worldwide in international tourism receipts, with 18.9 billion US$. In international tourist arrivals, Austria ranked 12th with 20.8 million tourists.
Vienna attracts a major part of tourists, both in summer and winter. Salzburg receives about a fifth of tourist overnight stays compared to Vienna, which ranks it 2nd in the summer season. In the winter season, a number of winter sport resorts in western Austria overtake Salzburg in the number of tourist overnight stays: Solden, Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Ischgl, Sankt Anton am Arlberg, and Obertauern.
Visits to Austria mostly include trips to Vienna with its Cathedral, its "Heurigen" (wine pubs) and romantic Waltz music events. Worth a visit are Salzburg, birthplace of Mozart, Innsbruck, capital of Tyrol surrounded by the Alps, Linz, capital of Upper Austria with the largest Cathedral of Austria and modern cultural highlights, and the Danube valley with its vineyards, for example the Wachau or Dunkelsteinerwald, which are between Melk and Krems. In the western part of the country the province Vorarlberg reaches the Lake Constance, in the eastern part Neusiedler See. The three most visited landmarks in Austria are Schonbrunn Palace (2,590,000 visitors per year), Tiergarten Schonbrunn (2,453,987 visitors) and Mariazell Basilica (1,500,000 visitors).
Of great touristic importance are the Austrian skiing, hiking and mountaineering resorts in the Alps as well as family-friendly recreation areas (e.g. the Witches's Water in Tyrol). The same applies to the numerous Austrian lakes (e.g. Wolfgangsee and other lakes in the Salzkammergut east of Salzburg or Wörthersee in Carinthia) and castles.
For visitors interested in Media Art, there is the Ars Electronica Center in Linz. Since 1979 this center has organized the Ars Electronica Festival and presented the Prix Ars Electronica, the worldwide highest-ranked prize for media art.
Subscribe to our news letter
Top tourist countries