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Austrian hotels: 2015 ends on a high note

After a favorable summer season, hospitality professionals in Austria are expecting a grand finale - a national tradition, as musicians of the Vienna Philharmonic are rehearsing for the New Year's Concert. Vienna's hotel market performed well in 2015, and Salzburg's did even better.

According to Statistik Austria, the country registered its best summer performance over the past twenty years, with close to 70 million overnight stays recorded from May to November 2015. With 2.2 million additional overnight stays, the country posted a 3.3% increase from 2014 (and +4.5% for the months of July and August). The country’s hotel sector clearly felt this increase on its activity, confirming the hopes of Austrian tourism professionals for 2015.

Despite a slowdown in October, performance in Austrian hotels quickly recovered in November. The occupancy rate gained 2.3 points in the country, reaching 4.6 points in Salzburg, the Austrian city which boasted the best results in November. Although their average daily rates remained steady (+0.2% in November), hoteliers in the city of Mozart benefited from a 7.3% increase in Revenue per Available Room (RevPAR) thanks to much stronger demand. Across the country, the RevPAR gained 5.9%, with a stronger increase in rates. ADR is up by 3.4% in Vienna, leading to a 6.1% growth in RevPAR compared to November 2014.

Monthly evolution of hotel performances in Austria, Vienna and Salzburg from January to November 2015, with respect to 2014

With lovely Christmas markets and strong traditions during the holiday season, Austrian hotels should end the year on a good note. From January to November this year, their RevPAR already registered a 5.1% growth compared to 2014, slightly above their German (+4.6%) and British (+5%) counterparts in the European concert. Despite rather stable occupancy rates (+0.8 point), a 4% increase in average daily rate enabled results to go crescendo.

Across the first eleven months of the year, the increase was less pronounced in the Austrian capital, where hotels did not register such a significant increase in occupancy rate (+0.5 points) – whereas average daily rates echoed the rest of the country’s. Vienna's RevPAR increased by 4.5% from 2014 marks. The Imperial City, a leading MICE destination in Europe, should also benefit from a traditionally favorable period for leisure tourism in December.

Salzburg also received critical acclaim throughout 2015, benefiting from the positive trend for leisure tourism across the country. Between January and November 2015, occupancy rate in the city’s hotels registered a significant increase (+3.9 points). With average daily rates up 5% - slightly better than in the rest of the country, the RevPAR increased by 11.1% across the first eleven months of the year. It must be said that the destination enjoyed an exceptional event calendar. The Salzburg Biennale was held from March 6 to March 22 this year, allowing hoteliers to fill their rooms comfortably. Held during the summer (July 18 to August 30), the Salzburg Festival drew crowds of opera, theatre and concert lovers to the city’s cobblestone streets. As in 2015 the event last much longer in July than it did in previous editions, it helped boost hotel demand over the month of July.

Also read:

  • Austria: tourism climbs every mountain
  • Vienna: new projects to absord demand
  • Vienna hopes to reach 18 million nights in 2020

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