Austria: Hotel Market 2021
By Brigitte T. Gruber, MBA on October 8, 2021
“Hotels in Austria are open, and travelers from certain countries can enter Austria again.”
Austrian National Tourist Office, June 2021
This report focuses on the hotel industry in 2020 compared to the pre-pandemic market situation in 2019. The report shows how Covid-19 has affected the business in Austria. We are sharing information, insights, and developments related to environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategies and digitization in our outlook. Both will have an impact on the future of tourism in Austria. We see the pandemic as an accelerator speeding up the process of profound changes in our industry.
Tourism in Austria
Austria is one of the most popular destinations for tourists in Europe. The country’s history, culture, and beautiful countryside attracted 31.9 million tourists from abroad in 2019, making Austria the seventh most popular destination in Europe. In total, tourists from abroad spent approximately 20 billion euros travelling in Austria that year.
Tourism in Austria is an important sector of the country’s economy, with the industry developing steadily and successfully over the past 50 years. The Institute for Leisure and Tourism estimates that tourism’s impact on the country’s GDP is around 25%. Pre-Covid tourism represented one of the most important and fastest-growing sectors of Austria’s economy. Investments in the leisure market, including transport infrastructure, ski lift systems, and summer sports infrastructure, remain high. According to the Austrian National Tourist Office, these investments create a sophisticated, sustainable, year-round range of tourism products with international appeal.
In 2019, 152.71 million overnight stays were registered in accommodation establishments in Austria, an increase of 2.1% compared to 2018. 2020 closed with 97.9 million overnight stays, which is down 35.9% year-on-year. Overnight stays in each of the Austrian provinces are in the red due to Covid-19 restrictions in 2020. The lowest decreases were registered in Carinthia (-17.1%) and Styria (-24.5%). The most significant drop was in Vienna (-74.0%).
Vienna is one of the world’s most successful congress destinations. Unfortunately, in 2020 many congresses had to be cancelled. While some took place virtually, most were postponed. Unlike corporate and MICE travel, leisure travel was recovering faster over the summer of 2020. However, the sector shows a drastic downturn during winter 2020 due to lockdowns. Furthermore, Vienna’s city hotels still struggle with historically low demand levels, a situation that is not likely to change before Q3 2021, according to the Vienna Tourist Board. The ongoing loss in this segment is a hard blow for tourism and the city’s revenue.
The vaccination program, widely available antigen tests and opening up steps, for events, make hybrid meetings possible, albeit with reduced numbers of guests participating on-site.
Hotel Market Austria
The Austrian hotel market is dominated by non-branded, individually owned properties, representing 86,63 % of the total room stock in the country. International hotel chains are found in Austria’s capital Vienna and other regional cities.
The Austrian market totals 11,800 properties and 303,500 keys in total. 2,62% of all properties (310 hotels) are chain hotels, with 13,36 % of keys (40,565 keys) operated by international and domestic chain groups.
In 2020, 93 different chain brands were represented in the Austrian market, of which 14 are domestic. The largest is JUFA, with 48 properties and 2,520 keys. JUFA is a local brand of family hotels with 60 locations in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and Hungary. The German hotel company, Motel One, is the second-largest chain brand in Austria with seven hotels (and 2,136 keys), followed by the Accor brand Ibis with 12 hotels (and 1,669 keys).
Overall chain groups are dominated by French Accor S.A. with 38 hotels and 5,481 keys, followed by Marriott International Inc. with 16 hotels and 3,475 keys. Austria Trend Hotels is in third place in the 2020 ranking with 23 properties and 3,343 keys.
Ranking by Size
|3||Austria Trend Hotels||23||3,343|
International chain brands are led by Motel One, Ibis and Mercure with 10 hotels (and 1.277keys), followed by Hilton with 3 Hotels (and 1.276 keys). The Park Hilton has undergone a complete refurbishment, extended its room count to 663 and is now the second-largest hotel in Vienna. It’s exceeded only by the newest addition to the market – the Student Hotel with 800 rooms catering to tourists and students.
The top domestic chain brand is JUFA, followed by Falkensteiner Hotels with 10 hotels and (1.280 keys) and Arcotel with 5 hotels (and 992 keys).
Now in October 2021, we can look back to a very positive summer season in the Austrian hotel market.
The full report further provides insights on:
- Changes in Austria Tourism
- Hotel Developments in the Pipeline