Austria is one of the most popular travel destinations in Europe and worldwide known for its many versatile holiday regions. The country’s popularity is not only based on the beautiful Alps which cover a large part of the Republic, but also many lake districts, charming and attractive cities like Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Graz and Klagenfurt, as well as a vast amount of cultural heritage and the land’s own customs. Not to mention the great infrastructure and the very central location directly in the heart of Europe!
The first tourism in Austria began in the 19th century and it was limited to a very few places. Especially Vienna was a permanent travel destination for the aristocracy. Bas Ischl in Upper Austria became well known as a spa town and the summer residency of Emperor Franz Joseph I and Bad Gastein in the Salzburger Land was the favourite destination of the bourgeoisie.
The touristic exploration of the Alps began in the middle of the 19th century. A positive factor for this was the expansion of the technical infrastructure and the street net as well as the invention of the railway. Ski tourism began in the early 20th century when the first ski lifts were installed, the first ski courses were offered in Vorarlberg at the Arlberg and Tyrol had the most visitors, a fact that is still appropriate today.
Today, Austria’s tourism takes place in all of its federal states, whereas the main tourism takes place in Tyrol, Salzburg, Carinthia, Vienna and Styria.