actb: more than a tourism marketplace
At the recently concluded Austrian Central European Travel Business trade fair (actb 2010), held at the Austria Centre Vienna, forecasts for 2010 seemed exceptionally encouraging.
This year at the event, which is particularly concentrated on the Austrian and Central European incoming market, 513 tourism businesses presented their attractions at a total of 302 stands to 872 buyers and international media representatives from 53 nations.
Most of the exhibitors are hotels, incoming travel agents and destinations.
Speaking to international media at the event, Dr Petra Stolba, CEO of the Austrian National Tourist Office (ANTO), said: “Austria has managed to weather itself from the global recession and as a result we have only witnessed a one per cent drop in tourist arrivals and a 1.9 per cent drop in overnight stays. This is perfectly acceptable to us.”
Looking ahead at 2010, Stolba commented that it will be a while before the market can expect to see the same levels of growth. “This year ANTO plans to launch the ‘late-bookers campaign’ as well as undertake massive internet and television campaigns targeting Austrians to spend their winters in Austria. More than €75,000 ($101,000) has been spent on these campaigns.”
Apart from its new venue, this year actb premiered, in cooperation with the nine provincial tourist boards, the so-called ‘Best-of Media Briefings’ for journalists with the message ‘A vacation in Austria is the best combination of nature and culture as well as of the traditional and the modern’. In the media briefings each federal province presented one highlight of an area in which Austria has competence and ability to fascinate guests.
Highlights included Antony Gormley’s Horizon Field in Vorarlberg, the Via Culinaria in Salzburg and the Vienna Culture Highlights 2010. The years 2010 and 2011 are dedicated to culture and art and 2010 marks the 150th birthday of famous Austrian composer and conductor Gustav Mahler while 2011 marks the 100th anniversary of his death.
After 30 years, the actb will undergo a revamp with the 2010 edition being the last as an annual event. The next edition will be an all-new version in 2012.
Also, the University of St Gallen will closely scrutinise this year’s actb in terms of new tourism-political strategies. “The results will considerably influence further development of our sales and distribution support systems,” says Stolba, “because from 2010 these evaluation results will serve as a basis for the gradual modernisation and intensification of sales platforms in the markets.”
In the years between the actb, starting with 2013, ANTO will present its new marketing platform focusing on the ‘Experience of tourism country Austria’.
“Our goal is to develop an innovative and effective marketing platform in Austria that lends our tourism country-exclusiveness in international competition and meets the demands of new business parameters,” said Stolba.