Whether it’s a sports holiday, city trip, relaxing by the sea or a guided tour: Austrians want to travel this summer. This is shown by a call to local travel agencies and tour operators. “The desire to travel is rising to hitherto unknown heights,” says Andrea Hansal, spokeswoman for the Tourist Office Group (Eurotours, Ruefa). What are the reasons for this and which travel trends are shaping the summer?
The Austrians are drawn to faraway places: According to Hansal, 2023 is a very strong year for vacations abroad. This is also due to the elimination of all corona restrictions: “Austria is an expensive holiday country, which is more interesting for Austrians for a shorter second vacation.” The demand for certain destinations abroad is higher than in the pre-Corona summer of 2019.
This is confirmed by Josef Weiermair, spokesman for the bus tour operators and travel agency operators in Kirchdorf/Krems: “The desire to travel is perhaps even greater than before.” At Weiermair, trips to the North Cape, Ireland, Normandy and Switzerland are almost fully booked: “These are our most expensive offers.” According to Gertraud Scharinger, managing director of the travel agency and bus company of the same name in Geretsberg (district Braunau), Greece, Spain, Turkey and Egypt are among the most popular destinations. All of the company’s coaches are currently on the road: “We’re fully booked for bus trips until July.”
The expensive holiday does not deter: The rise in prices doesn’t stop at holidays either: according to Hansal, package tours have become eight to ten percent more expensive on average year-on-year. With other forms of vacation it is significantly more. The popular destinations of Greece and Spain were particularly attractive. Scharinger reports on an Egypt flight that costs 1299 euros this year instead of 799: but that would hardly deter. Weiermair sees a “great need to catch up on vacation”. Savings tend to be in everyday life. However, the way we vacation is changing.
All-inclusive is in demand again: Hansal reports strong demand for package tours (“all-inclusive”). These would make a trip calculable because everything is included, from transport to meals: “That’s what families want most.” Weiermair has had similar experiences and also cites the safety aspect as a reason: “If any problems arise, I’m well protected with a package tour.”
Bookings are made earlier, but shorter: Travel is becoming more expensive, “we therefore advise customers not to wait,” says Scharinger. After bookings were made at very short notice during the pandemic, customers often commit to a trip as early as Christmas or January. According to Scharinger, demand is shifting towards shorter trips: “People continue for six days instead of ten, but more often.”