Vienna is a Big Draw for Families, Honeymooners and MICE Travellers: Sanjiv Kataria, Vienna Tourism Board

Ranked among the most liveable city in the world by Mercer for 10 years in a row, Vienna is one of the hottest tourist destinations

QUESTIONING, 'So who decides what you like?' the Vienna Tourist Board launched a new ad campaign entitled ‘Unrating Vienna’. The campaign focusses on the highly topical area that has a huge impact on the tourism industry - online ratings. The campaign follows on from the success of 2017’s daring ad campaign which questioned whether Schiele’s nudist paintings were still considered provocative and last year’s ‘Unhashtag Vienna’ campaign, which encouraged travellers to take fewer photos and experience more.

Ranked among the most liveable city in the world by Mercer for 10 years in a row, Vienna is one of the hottest tourist destinations. Millions of tourists make a beeline to the Austrian capital because it offers an irresistibly salubrious environment, timeless charm, magnificent palaces, abundant green spaces and gastronomic delights. In an interaction with BW Hotelier, Sanjiv Kataria, Strategic Communications and PR Counsel, Vienna Tourism Board spoke about 'Unrating Vienna' in India.    


Why do you consider India as an important market? What are the recent trends you are witnessing among Indian travellers?
 
India’s burgeoning global economy, with millions of young aspirational class, led Indians travelling to Vienna record a compounded annual growth rate of over 15 per cent in the last six years.

Vienna has been a big draw for families, honeymooners and MICE travellers. With 63,000 Indians visiting Vienna to notch up 138,000 overnight stays as the Austrian capital offers everything that a family holiday deserves.
 
Tell us about a few major MICE movements that you have received from India recently?

Vienna, the convention capital of the world, recorded 4,685 conferences, conclaves, consultations and symposiums in 2018, up by 15 per cent over 2017. MICE traffic contributes to almost 15 per cent of the total tourist arrivals from India.
 
A favourite destination for Indian honeymooners, Vienna has hosted many Indian weddings, including at the Belvedere Palace, one of the palaces of the former imperial family of Austria. The palace now serves as a museum and an event location.
 
Some of the recent ones included grand wedding of Sajjan Jindal’s son Parth to Anushree Jasan, the wedding of Sonam Vaswani, daughter of entrepreneur Sunil Vaswani, with Navin.
 
What are your latest initiatives taken for Indian travellers?
 
India is among the 20 focus markets and runs promotional campaigns with the travel trade.
 
Indian travellers can explore Vienna in the comfort of boats that cruise down the Danube Canal and the Danube River. Aboard these boats, tourists can treat themselves to some delicacies of the world-famous Viennese cuisine.
 
English speaking guides, dozens of restaurants serving Indian food and welcoming citizens go for making Indians at home in Vienna.  The findings from a survey conducted by the VTB last year reveals that 94 per cent were welcoming of tourists in their city.
 
Vienna boasts of green spaces that cover over half its area and equally great outdoors. The countless meadows, trees, parks, gardens, roadside verges, balconies, and green rooftops provide a constant, yet ever-changing palette of blossoming flowers. Vienna has 850 well-manicured parks (280 of them imperial) and 1,730 acres of vineyards.
 
The Vienna Prater is a modern adventure world with fun to be had at more than 250 attractions – including the Giant Ferris Wheel, a 117-meter chair-o-plane, and an indoor rollercoaster.  
 
Viennese Cuisine, the only cuisine in the world to be named after a city, is available in the down-to-earth, cosy and traditional bistro, makes its mark on a booming restaurant scene. Viennese coffeehouses have always been the perfect places to sit and watch the world go by for hours on end.
 
Vienna and wine are inextricably linked, as Vienna is the only metropolis in the world to cultivate an appreciable wine-growing industry within its city limits. Several homely taverns serve fine wine and buffet food.
 
Are there any specific destination or location you want to promote in Indian market?
 
Few places in the world are as blessed as Vienna. Nestled between the Danube River and picturesque hills, the city reposed by woods and green vineyards, its buildings telling the story of its rich past even as its vibrant and contemporary coffeehouses buzz with activity in the present.
 
What makes Vienna so very unique is that it has something of everything right in one beautiful place: history, nature, music, dance, and tranquillity. That's why, as a place to visit, Vienna can be many things to many people.
 
A young traveller choosing to visit Vienna can lose herself in music. Should she want to step back in time to imperial history, she can. Should she want to go bungee jumping by day and dance all night, she can. All of this adds to the typically Viennese blend of tradition and innovation. Vienna provides the experiences of a metropolis without the stress factors of a big city.
 
The Ringstrasse, Vienna’s architectural delight--a 57-meter-wide road that circles the city’s first district--is a treasure trove of public buildings and late 19th-century private mansions. The Ring’s monumental buildings are among the city’s most important sights and include the Vienna State Opera, the Burgtheater, City Hall, Parliament, the Kunsthistorisches Museum and the Natural History Museum.
 
What is your outlook for India outbound market in the next 5 years?
 
Vienna, named as world’s best quality of living for the tenth year in a row in 2018 by Mercer, looks at welcoming a significantly larger number of Indian tourists in the coming years.
 
By blending its unique imperial architectural heritage with a distinguished legacy of great artists and musicians Vienna offers one of Europe’s most dynamic urban spaces. With Vienna emerging as a favoured destination by Indian tourists, we look to welcoming significantly larger inflow of tourists in the coming years.


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