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Vienna’s success as a business location, tourism, congress and conference destination also depends on its accessibility by air travel. The Vienna Tourist Board and Vienna Airport signed a growth agreement serving as the basis to attract additional airlines to Vienna, promote direct flights to Austria’s capital and convince decision makers of Vienna’s advantages as a Central European traffic hub. 37 campaigns targeting 15 markets are planned for 2016.
Vienna achieved a record number of overnight stays in 2015, reaching a total of 14.3 million. About 42% of all guests and 76% of congress and conference participants come to Vienna by plane. Norbert Kettner, Managing Director of the Vienna Tourist Board, and Julian Jäger, Member of the Management Board of Flughafen Wien AG, documented their previously close cooperation in writing by signing a cooperation agreement entitled “Air Service Development Vienna.” The objective of the agreement is to more comprehensively address global tourism markets and potential airline customers and ensure sustainable growth for the airport and Vienna as a tourism location on the basis of jointly implemented market development activities. The corresponding agreement was concluded on the occasion of the 82nd Jour Fixe of the Vienna Tourist Board on April 27, 2016, and is under the auspices of Renate Brauner in her position as President of the Vienna Tourist Board and representative of the City of Vienna, one of the owners of Vienna Airport. “With this cooperation agreement, the Vienna Tourist Board and Vienna Airport confirm their commitment to a consistent and quality-oriented growth strategy for the benefit of their shareholders and stakeholders, and thus lay the foundations for the future. Vienna will only be able to continue exploiting its biggest assets as a central European transport hub, a flourishing tourism destination, a top player in the international congress and conference business and the headquarters for multinational companies if its international flight connections develop further,” Brauner explained.
The promotion of direct flight connections to Vienna is formulated as a specific objective within the context of Vienna’s Tourism Strategy 2020. By that year, the aim is to add 20 more metropolitan areas which can be reached by direct flights from Vienna. “New flights are not only a decisive driving force underlying the growth of tourism in Vienna. We have to be well connected internationally in order to keep our dependency on individual markets to a minimum in a sector which is so strongly impacted by external influences and be in a position to efficiently target growth markets”, Norbert Kettner emphasized. “Our strategic goal is to attract new airlines and flight connections to Vienna, and the airport has had a lot of success here in recent years. We have been able to lure numerous new short-haul, medium-haul and long-haul flight connections and several new airlines to Vienna. In particular, the flight offering to Asia and North America has strongly expanded. Working together with the Vienna Tourist Board, we want to more effectively exploit the potential of global tourism markets, and further increase our offering in the future,” Julian Jäger added.
2016: 37 joint marketing campaigns for 15 markets
In 2015, Vienna saw the addition of five more direct flight connections which are of importance to its growth strategy, namely to Miami (Austrian Airlines), Bristol (easyJet), Bordeaux (ASL), Toulouse (ASL) and Kuwait City (Kuwait Airways). Up until now, the following new destinations have been added in 2016 : Edinburgh (easyJet, Jet2.com), Naples (easyJet), Hong Kong (Austrian Airlines) and Shanghai (Austrian Airlines). In order to attract further flights or airlines to Vienna, Flughafen Wien AG and the Vienna Tourist Board identified routes with the potential for expansion starting in 2016 within the context of an annual action plan. This strategy focuses on routes whose expected passenger volume is larger than current capacities or where direct flights are not yet available despite sufficient demand. In addition, targeted market measures will be implemented to strengthen the viability of new flight connections during the start-up phase. This year, 37 such activities are planned for a total of 15 markets, in part through direct partnerships with airlines. In March, some 100 representatives of the aviation industry, media and travel companies meeting in São Paulo were attuned to the advantages of the Austrian capital within the context of a “Vienna Now or Never Airline Night” as well as the award-winning services offered by Vienna Airport. Similar measures have been carried out or are planned this year for Great Britain, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Romania, and also for the non-European markets of Canada, India, Kuwait, Japan, South Korea and Australia. All activities also take the objectives of the Austrian Aviation Roadmap 2020 of the Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology into account. The agreement stipulates an intensive and regular exchange of views between the Vienna Tourist Board and Flughafen Wien AG as well as a bundling of marketing activities, and specifies the aim of achieving improved conditions for Austria’s aviation industry on the basis of lobbying political decision makers, stakeholders and local business partners, for example by pressing ahead with efforts to abolish the flight tax, which distorts competition.
Airlines – the new “gate keepers” and “game changers” in tourism
The tourism value chain around the world is being increasingly channeled by individual booking platforms, driven by digitalization and the related simplified user-friendliness in the booking process. “Airlines are tending to develop into full-service providers which not only process flight bookings directly via their own websites, but also integrate other service components into their portfolio usually offered by traditional travel agencies”, explained Kettner, talking about why airlines are becoming increasingly important points of contact in destination marketing. Vienna aims to convince not only airlines but airline alliances as well to add Vienna to their route network, or to increase existing frequencies and capacities, for example by deploying larger aircraft. Direct connections to densely populated cities in growth markets are of particular interest, in light of the fact that about half of the world’s population lives in urban areas, and people who live in cities are mainly the ones who book city trips. “Vienna Airport is also adapting its strategy to this fact. Starting in the summer of 2016, the Airbus A380, one of the largest passenger jets in the world, will be landing regularly in Vienna, and recently we presented a far-reaching terminal development program to lay the foundations for the future”, stated Flughafen Wien AG board member Jäger.
Award for the Vienna Tourist Board from “Routes Europe“
The Vienna Tourist Board was given gratifying feedback by the aviation industry for the initial airline marketing activities it implemented. It was honored for its activities in airline marketing up until now within the context of the Marketing Awards of “Routes Europe 2016”, an international network meeting of the aviation industry held in Krakow on April 25, 2016. Six tourist boards were directly nominated by airlines in the category “Destination”, namely Vienna for the first time, as well as Amsterdam, Berlin, Azores, Norway and Sweden. In addition to Visit Norway, the “winner,” the Vienna Tourist Board was given the rating “Highly Commended” by the jury. “In the fall of 2014, we systematically began with airline marketing within the context of presenting our tourism strategy. One year later, we have already received such a clear indication of recognition from the industry, which gives us reason to be optimistic in terms of achieving our goals”, Kettner concluded.
Cooperation for more growth: Renate Brauner, Executive City Councillor of Finance, Economic and International Affairs, Julian Jäger, Member of the Management Board of Flughafen Wien AG (l.) and Norbert Kettner, Managing Director of the Vienna Tourist Board (r.)
Walter Straßer Peter Kleemann
Press Spokesman Press Spokesman
Vienna Tourist Board Flughafen Wien AG
Tel. +43 - 1 - 211 14 - 111 Tel: +43 – 1 – 7007 - 23000