Facts and figures on tourism in Tirol

Last updated on 21.07.2021

Tourism in Tirol has a long history. Until the late 19th century most visitors were traders and travellers on the important north-south and east-west transit routes passing through the region. From the early 20th century, Tirol became more and more popular as a holiday destination in its own right.

Tyrol as a holiday destination

Tourism is an essential part of Tirol’s economy. Almost 25,000 local businesses rely on tourism. With 48,800 employees, the tourism sector is not only important as a creator of jobs but also drives other fields such as crafts and trade. One in three euros generated in Tirol comes from tourism and leisure, with a quarter of the region’s jobs in the tourism and leisure industries.*

Upswing in tourism

The earliest visitors to Tirol, who arrived more than 200 years ago, were members of the ruling elite embarking on elaborate journeys to educate themselves and broaden their horizons. From the middle of the 19th century, more and more people found themselves drawn to the mountains during the hot months of the year to cool off. Alongside summer tourism, mountaineering soon became the second mainstay of tourism in the region. It was not until the early 20th century that winter tourism began to develop.

Tourism in Tirol took off in earnest after the Second World War. This enabled even peripheral regions such as the valleys to enjoy economic development and prosperity. Until the mid-1990s, summer was the more important of the seasons – and in 1991 it brought Tirol its best result to date with just over 23 million overnight stays. The increasingly strong winter season peaked in 2016/17 with 26.8 million overnight stays.

In 2018/19, the last full tourism year before the Coronavirus pandemic, 27.5 million overnight stays were recorded in winter compared with 22.2 million overnight stays in summer, a ratio of 55:45.

Tourism year 2020/21

The tourism year 2020/21 got off to a promising start. However, it also showed that the desire for holidays in Tirol is unbroken, because as soon as it was possible, demand also increased again. This led to a very pleasing summer season which, with around 20 million overnight stays, is in the upper midfield in a longterm comparison despite the difficult starting situation.

However, a total of 20.6 million overnight stays and 5.1 million guest arrivals in the tourism year 2020/21, which covers the period from 1 November 2020 to 31 October 2021, mean significant declines compared to the previous year of 46.6 % in overnight stays and 42 % in arrivals. Compared to the last full tourism year before the Corona crisis in 2018/19, there was a drop of 58.6 % in overnight stays and 59 % in arrivals.

Although the industry was very well prepared for the 2020/21 winter season with extensive hygiene concepts, it was ultimately unable to implement them. Characterised by constantly changing general conditions with travel warnings and closed establishments, the 2020/21 winter season was almost completely cancelled. With only 712,874 overnight stays and 137,405 arrivals, there was a decline of around 97 % compared to the previous year.

The 2021 summer season showed that the appeal of the Tirol as a holiday destination remains high. With 19,862,964 overnight stays (+ 27.5 % compared to the previous year) and 4,947,872 arrivals (+ 30.5 %), this year’s summer season ranks in the upper midfield in a longterm comparison.

Compared to the last summer before Corona 2019, this means declines of 10.4 % in overnight stays and 20.2 % in arrivals. October is even in first place in the long-term comparison, which underlines the efforts made to equalise the seasonal periods. It is particularly pleasing that many Austrians again spent their holidays in their own country this summer. Austria is the second most important country of origin behind the main market Germany.

Facts 

  • Due to the Coronavirus-related declines in the tourism year 2020/21 (1 November 2020 to 31 October 2021), overnight stays in Tirol also fell in a long-term comparison: 20.6 million overnight stays meant a drop of 52% compared with 10 years earlier.
  • Due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, guest arrivals (5 million in the tourism year 2020/21) also declined by 47 % compared with 10 years earlier.
  • The average length of stay of Tirolean guests in the tourism year 2020/21 was 4 days. Whilethe length of stay in the first tourism year of the Corona pandemic 2019/20 rose to 4.4 days, it is now back at pre-crisis levels.
  • With a 61 % share of overnight stays, Germany remains the top markets of origin. Austriafollows right behind with a share of 13.3 %.
  • In third place is the Netherlands with 7.5 %, followed by Switzerland and Liechtenstein (4.8 %) and Belgium (2.7 %).
  • The hotel industry accounted for almost 60 % of overnight stays in the tourism year 2020/21. Holiday apartments became more popular during the Coronavirus pandemic (32 % share) and here in particular to the 4/5-star range.
  • In the tourism year 2020/21, tourism generated a total turnover of 3.1 billion euros. Due to the Corona pandemic, only 5 % of this referred to the winter season, the rest to the summer season. Compared to the last tourism year before the Corona pandemic in 2018/19, the turnover has dropped by two thirds. The comparison with the tourism year 2019/20 shows a drop of 57.8 %.
  • The gross value added of Tirol’s tourism industry amounted to around 1.9 billion euros in 2020/21. This means declines of 98% in winter and 6% in summer due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
  • Compared to the previous year, the winter recorded high losses of around 97 %, but in summer an increase of around 32 % was achieved.
  • Tirol’s tourism industry employs around 48,000 people. This is around 13.8 % of all full-time equivalents in Tirol.
  • The share of tourism in Tirol’s GDP is approx. 14.3%, with this figure significantly higher in the major tourism centres. For comparison, tourism contributes 5.4% to Austria’s overall GDP.*

    Sources: Provincial statistics Tirol, WIFO & Statistics Austria, Management Center Innsbruck

The role of Tirol Werbung in the region’s tourism industry

Tirol Werbung is Tirol’s regional tourism board. Its manages and strengthens the Tirol brand, controls tourism marketing, carries out basic work such as market and trend research, and acts as a service and information centre for guests and industry partners.

A subsidiary of Lebensraum Tirol Holding

Since 1 January 2019, Tirol Werbung has been part of Lebensraum Tirol Holding, which also includes Standortagentur Tirol and Agrarmarketing Tirol. These three subsidiaries are 100% owned by Lebensraum Tirol Holding. Strategic control of the Tirol brand is also carried out by Lebensraum Tirol Holding.

Tirol’s tourism strategy

Tirol’s tourism strategy is set out in the “Tirolean Way 2021”. This strategy paper is based on four core drivers from which fields of action and measures are derived:

  • Tirol is a place where people both live and spend their holidays
  • Tirol’s tourism industry is family-based and cross-generational
  • Tirol is a recognised for its leadership expertise in alpine tourism
  • Sustainability and regional focus

More information

Tirol Tourism Research

Tirol Tourism Research (TTR) – the central knowledge hub for tourism in Tirol – offers up-to-date and detailed statistics. With this online platform, Tirol Werbung and MCI Tourism offer direct access to a wealth of information and data.

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