Austrian C&I market continues to grow

The MICE market in Austria was worth approximately ATS14.9 billion (£670.4m) in 2000 and the market is growing at around 3% year-on-year, according to recently released figures from the Austrian NTO. This figure represents some 7.4% of the country’s total receipts from tourism income. One of the reasons that convention business accounts for such a high proportion of the overall tourism industry is that, at €363 (£225) a day, delegates and incentive participants spend more than other visitors during their average stay of two and a half days. Hans Hollerer, MICE manager at the Austrian NTO in Vienna, said he believed there were several factors underlying the country’s popularity as a meetings and incentive destination. “Safety is one element, especially given the heightened security issues, but also our location in the middle of Europe is an enormous bonus,” said Hollerer. He also pointed to Austria’s infrastructure as another reason for the volume of C&I business it attracts. Hollerer confirmed that, similar to the overall trend within Europe, certain segments of the MICE market are performing less well with a decrease in incentives but a steady rise in convention business. Meanwhile, the Vienna Convention Bureau has reported that it expects to generate 45,000 room nights between 2003 and 2005, which will contribute some €16.4m (£10.2m) to the Austrian economy. This contribution will come from three conferences: the European Association for International Education next year, the Association for Computing Machinery in 2004; and the European Dialysis Transplantation Nurses Association in 2005.

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