Photo: Kitzsteinhorn



The themes of sustainability and ecology have dusted off their image and may now help boost the business.


The popularity of mountains as a vacation destination grew in the last year’s summer season. Austrian market experts expect that their appeal will remain high also this summer. Despite a general economic slowdown, worldwide tourism continues to develop well.


This presents an opportunity for domestic tourism, as subcultures within the society show a growing demand for old values in new packaging. Alpine businesses have already embraced this trend quite well.


To satisfy visitors’ diverse wishes, great efforts are taken in the Alps to come up with vacation offers which combine the experience of nature with adventure.

The greatest demand for summer vacations in Austria comes from Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Great Britain. Guests from these countries want to experience nature through active enjoyment during their vacation.


They want to spend time together, relax and regenerate, learn new things, and, ideally do all this outdoors. Because this is the way to really get to feel the revitalizing effect of nature.

Photo: Ski amadé

Austria as a long haul destination

Asia, and China in particular, remains the region with the largest growth potential. Last year’s growth rate of some ten percent is expected to be achieved also in 2019 – driven especially by a constantly strong demand for summer vacations in the Alps.


For the Chinese, Austria is a popular long haul destination in Europe. New flight connections in combination with the digital targeting of a continually expanding class of well-educated, worldly individual travelers from large cities, as well as increasingly more possibilities for local mobile payments, will further drive the growth of this market for Austria.


Equally positive are developments at the Russian market. Here, winter serves as a springboard for summer and regional food products, environmental themes and sustainability drive interest in spending summer vacations close to nature, in the mountains.


The Russians are ready for new experience and the mountains seems to satisfy their desire for original values.

However, sustainability appeals to people not only in the northeastern part of Eurasia; the Alpine regions, too, have been dedicated to environmental matters for quite some time. Representatives of the alpine cable car industry know that digitalization and sustainability are the two areas that pres ent the greatest challenge.


In this respect, cableways stand for a perfect example of a successful combination of nature and technology.

Photo: Ski amadé

Green is cool

As recently as the 1990s, the concepts of sustainability and green business were gathering dust and only rarely became a subject for discussion. They were mostly laughed at and waved off. Nonetheless, “Green Image” did already then manage to lay the foundation for its future popularity.


The ecological niche has since then become a trend and if one is to summarize current business slogans, the following three terms essentially cover them all: environment-friendliness, fairness and sustainability. Nielsen, a market research firm, recorded, as a part of an international customer survey, good results in this area already in 2015.


The scope of industries that have since jumped on the bandwagon of sustainability continues to grow. The “outdoor” business in particular needs to retain its forerunner position on the subject of sustainability as this is of great importance to many vacationing tourists.

Photo: Zauchensee/Hans Huber

Steering the flow of visitors

The cableway industry continually deals with the challenge of accommodating large numbers of visitors in a limited area and within short periods of time. Time and time again, how to best steer the flow of visitors in the mountains becomes the subject of heated discussions among experts from the industry.


Mountainous regions such as the Alps, but also the Caucasus, Carpathians, Himalayas, Atlas or Andes, find themselves under growing pressure to attract attention not only through their increasingly broader alpine sports offering but also their green initiatives.


Supra-regional mountain bike tours in the Dolomites, sensitive development of tourist areas in North Norway, slow food in the Philippines, high charges for visiting mountain gorillas in Rwanda which benefit the local population – countless concepts already exists which, with an improved cooperation within alpine regions worldwide, can serve as good examples. tm