There is a long tradition of tourism in Tirol, although until the end of the 19th Century it was largely based on passing trade, with its location at the crossroads of major north-south and east-west routes across Europe. The popularity of Tirol as a tourist destination in its own right began to develop at the beginning of the 20th Century and particularly after World War II, both summer and winter tourism flourished. In 1950 2.3 million overnight stays were registered in Tirol; by 1960 this figure reached 11.8 million and by 1980 had increased to 38 million overnight stays. In 1992 the number of overnight stays peaked at 45.8 million. The first slow-down in summer tourism occurred at the beginning of the 1970’s. The best summer results for Tirol came in 1991 with 23 million overnight stays, but this figure had already fallen to 17 million by 2001. Up to 1993 the decline in summer tourism was offset by an ever-growing winter tourism, but the declining trend did affect the winter figures in the mid-1990’s. The recovery began in winter 1997/98 and despite difficult economic conditions in 2009/10, the excellent results from the previous year with 9.3 million arrivals (+2.2%) increased further, although due to a fall in the length of stay the figure of 25.2 million nights (-1.4%) was slightly below the results for 2008/09. In 2010/11 the number of arrivals increased again to almost 9.6 million (+2.5%), while overnight stays were recorded at 42.9 million, almost the same as the previous year. In absolute terms this corresponds to a decline of approximately 109,000 overnight stays, because of the shorter length of stay. The results from the previous year were beaten once again with almost 9.86 million arrivals (+3.3%) and 44 million overnight stays (+2.6%) and in the winter season 2011/12 Tirol recorded the best ever results in its history with 25.69 overnight stays.
Tirol can justifiably claim to be World Tourism Champion. With 61 overnight stays per inhabitant in the ‚Heart of the Alps‘, there is no other country in the world with this ratio. Almost 25000 companies in Tirol depend directly on tourism and with so many beds available, 340,000 visitors can be accommodated every night. The benefit to other economic sectors is obvious. Similarly the impact on the labour market means that more than 53000 people are employed in tourism in Tirol.
Countries of origin: German guests in pole position
Of the approximately 44 million overnight stays during the tourism year of 2010/11, German guests account for just under 51% and are still the main nationality visiting Tirol. In second place is the Netherlands with 4.8 million (11%), followed by the Austrians themselves, with 3.7 million overnight stays (9%). Next is Switzerland (2.4 million or 5.5%) and the UK (1.6 million or 3.6%). These are followed by Belgium (1.5 million or 3.5%), Italy (1.1 million or 2.5%), France (1 million or 2.2%) and Poland (1.5 %), Russia (1.4%) and the Czech Republic (1.4%).
Facts & Figures
Tourism year 2011/12
In total there were 9,86 arrivals which is a plus of 3.3% in comparison to the previous year and approximately 44 million overnights (+2,6%).
The winter season 2011/12 was the best season. The number of arrivals could be increase (216.800 arrivals which is a plus of 4.3%). Overnights could also be slightly increased (80.900).
The most important market is Germany. An increase in arrivals and overnigths from Germany could be noticed (arrivals +4.8%, overnights +4%). Moreover, increases from Austria (arrivals +4.1%, overnights +6.7%), Switzerland (arrivals +14.5%, overnights +14.9%), Great Britain (arrivals +4.2%, overnights +4.5%), France (arrivals +7.3%, overnights +5.2%), Italy (arrivals +6.9%, overnights +1.8%), Russia (arrivals +13.3%, overnights +11.6%), Czech Republic (arrivals +5.5%, overnights +3.7%) and Romania (arrivals +2.2%, overnights +1.1%).
Declines could only be marked from Denmark (arrivals -2.2%, overnights -4.7%) and Poland (arrivals -7.9%, overnights -7.9%).
Holiday homes, privat homes as well as 5/4* hotels acquired increasing importance (holiday homes +6%, private homes +4.6%, 5/4* hotels +4%).
In summer 2012 there was an increase in arrivals (4.59 million which is a plus of 2.1%). The number of overnights could also be increased by 1.4% (18.33 million). On average guests spent 4 days in Tirol.
The most important markets are Germany (arrivals +2.8%, overnights +2.1%), the Netherlands (arrivals +3.6%, overnights +1.8%) and Switzerland (arrivals +0.6%, overnights 0.3%).
Moreover, overnights from Denmark (+5.3%), Czech Republic (+2.8%), the USA (+3.7%), Poland (+11.1%), Hungary (+11.2%) and China (+29.8%) could be increased. A decline in overnights from Italy (-3.5%), Belgium (-3.9%), France (-7.2%) and Great Britain (-8.8%) could be marked.
Holiday homes were again popular whereas privat homes marked a decline (-3.4%).
- winter is the stronger season since the early 90s
- overnights rose by 5.9% over the past 10 years
- arrivals increased by 20.6% (trend towards shorter trips)
- guests stay longer in the Tirol in winter than in summer (winter: 4.9 days, summer 4.0 days)
- 2/3 of all overnights in hotels
- private accommodation registers a marked decline in both winter and summer
- every other bed of the 340,000 beds in the Tirol is in hotels
- One third of beds are in holiday apartments and 12% in private lodgings
- the highest bookings are registered in the superior hotel category
- total occupancy in the Tyrol: winter 40.8% summer 28.7%
- over 53,000 people are directly employed in Tirolean tourism, 70% of these by accommodation providers and catering establishments
- daily guest spending higher in winter (€ 137,-) than in summer (€ 104,-)
- tourism generates 7.3 bn. Euro turnover (5.6 bn. from overnight tourism, 1.3 bn. from day tourism)
- the Tirol's touristic gross value added amounts to 4 bn. Euro
- share of tourism in gross domestic product in the Tirol approx. 16%
- in tourism centres this figure is far higher
- in Austria the share is 5.2% (Upper Austria by comparison 3.2% and Vienna 1.9%)
Touristic infrastructure in the Tyrol
- over 100 ski resorts
- some 5.200 piste kilometres or 7,199.21 hectares (=0.6% of the area of the Tirol): 2.000km easy, 2.600 medium and 600 difficult
- approx. 4.000 cross-country trail kilometres
- approxmiately 800km of toboggan runs
- 15.000 km of paths serviced by the Alpenverein and various paths serviced by the regions, i.e. over 23.300 km walks in the Tirol
- approx. 1.400 huts and pastures with catering
- 5.600 km mountain bike trails according to the mountain bike model plus 900 additional km of trails in the regions
- over 100 climbing centers and 100 via ferrata-routes
- 18 golf courses, 14 of which are Alpin Partnerclubs
The role of the Tirol Tourist Board in Tirolean tourism
The Tirol Tourist Board was reformed on the 1st of January 2011 in order to manage the tasks of a provincial tourism organization in the best possible way - the Tirol Tourist Board is competent both for tourist advertising and as the umbrella marketing organization for the Tirol as an economic site. This direction was first taken in the "Tiroler Weg I" and will be consistently pursued in the "Tiroler Weg 2008-12". Central fields of action: product development, entrepreneurship, framework conditions (area and environment), destinations, promotion of the Tirol (further details at www.tirolwerbung.at).
With the online platform TTR, the Tirol Tourist Board and MCI Tourism provide Tirolean tourism with direct access to a wealth of strategic, statistical and market-oriented, as well as current and historic information and data relevant to Tirolean tourism (www.ttr.tirol.at).