Austria seeks to expand tourist presence in Dubai


The team at the Austrian National Tourist Office in Dubai will expand 100 per cent next year due to demand.

“After opening the office this year as a one-man-show, we are going to be two next year,” said Klaus Ehrenbrandtner from the Dubai office.
Austria has received more than 29.4 per cent arrivals and 24.2 per cent bednights from the Middle East this year so far, a steady increase over previous years. This is attributed to good flight connections with GCC countries, the fact that Vienna airport is less than six hours flying time from Dubai, airlines are offering the lowest fares in Europe for J class, as well as the climate, security and the warm welcome guests receive in Austria.
For 2008 the tourist office is planning to diversify away from the traditional destinations known by ME travellers and the trade (Zell am See, Vienna, Salzburg, Gastein Valley) and encourage more exploration into Austria’s scenic areas around its lakes, mountains and glaciers. In addition, the board hopes to increase visitor interest in shopping experiences, family holidays and romantic getaways to places such as Carinthia and other beauty spots in the Tyrol.
The tourism office is currently running campaigns in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait and Qatar in radio, print and direct mailing to promote offers during the December holidays, to show that Austria has a lot to offer during the whole year not just the traditional summer season. “We also want to attract the growing number of winter sport fans in the region as the classic winter sport destination in the Alps,” said Ehrenbrandtner.
In line with this, an agent’s training programme called ACTS – Austrian certified travel specialist - will be introduced during a GCC road show in the first week of March (in Dubai, Jeddah, Riyadh, Kuwait and Abu Dhabi). “There will be online destination courses and every agent and agency that participates will not only learn about the most important facts to sell Austria – there are other benefits,” he said.
Tour operators and travel agents are encouraged to visit the website for the destination guide “Best of Austria 2007”.