Austria beckons with wellness tourism


RETURNING to ATM will be Vienna International Hotels & Resorts, with its portfolio of city, resort, spa and conference hotels, in a bid to increase business from the region.

Founded in 1989, the company has 22 first-class hotels & resorts, one hotel ship and one 27-hole golf course.
Says Franz Graf, general manager of the group’s Spa Hotel Dvorak, in Karlovy Vary, “In 2005 we welcomed just under 900,000 guests from more than 70 different nationalities. Only about 2.5 per cent come from Middle Eastern countries, and we would like to see that number increase.”
Major Middle Eastern source markets for the group are Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. “We are hoping to attract more clients in future also from the UAE,” says Graf.
One area that is seeing increased demand, he says, is wellness tourism. “There are some regions which are already very well known and visited like Zell am See, Salzburg and Vienna or in the Czech Republic, Kalrovy Vary and Teplice. We are now trying to promote different regions like Loipersdorf in Austria. We know from experience that this is perfect for the clients from the Middle East. We can cater for all their special needs and we have unique infrastructure, climate and nature.” The group’s Spa Hotel Loipersdorf, attached to the local Thermal Bath, specialises in anti-ageing programmes as well as treatments for the locomotor system.
Future plans for the group, he says, could well include expansions into the Middle East, “but it is a little too early to be specific.”