The Austrian sector of tourism know-how and infrastructure is very broad: producers and service providers from the winter sports industry, notably the cable car and ski area operators, advisors and planners for infrastructure and tourism projects, as well as accommodation establishments, food service and leisure facilities.
Austria has many small and medium-sized companies in this area, such as planners, architects, advisers and producers of equipment such as bikes, trampolines, climbing parks or viewing platforms. Particularly ski companies and cable car companies have a long tradition in Austria.
Winter on the mountain
Almost two thirds of holidaymakers come to Austria to experience the country's winter. Every year, the domestic cable cars, hotels and other tourism facilities like spas score points with the services they offer to winter sportsmen and women.
Summer on the mountain
More than 80% of the Austrian cable car companies are now also in operation in the summer. Over the course of the years, the mountain summer has increasingly developed into an extremely important pillar of business for the industry. The adventure concepts of the summer cable cars have led to a positive development of entire tourism regions. The usage of the mountains in the summer incorporates, among others, mountain biking, hiking, experiencing nature, facilities such as climbing parks, fun parks or artificial lakes in mountain villages.
Global market leader in cable cars
Austria is the market leader in cable cars and acknowledged worldwide in the area of quality and safety of systems. Every year, up to 600 million people are transported and up to 55 million skier days produced in one winter season. The sector is not only one of the keenest to invest but also one of the most innovative.
The high willingness to invest of the domestic companies is the requirement for skiing in Austria being experienced by many guests as particularly diverse and of high quality, and the guests benefiting from the state-of-the-art and very safe systems.
For various reasons, cable cars are also increasingly being used in cities. They are being used as an alternative means of passenger transport, to relieve existing infrastructure or to open up panoramic mountains.
China as an example
The market for outdoor and leisure products in China is booming and is recording continuous growth rates. Chinese consumers are increasingly interested in winter sport; the award of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games to Peking has brought additional momentum to the Chinese winter sports market. Over the past few years, skiing has developed into a trendy sport for Chinese sports enthusiasts from the middle class. Currently, there are more than 6 million skiers in China – and the trend is an upward one.
The cable car sector is an important employer in Austria and safeguards approximately 99,300 full-time jobs, of which 17,300 are directly with the cable car companies. The country's future cable car technicians are trained at the provincial vocational school Hallein within the framework of a three-and-a-half-year course. The international centre of competence in Salzburg offers a practice-oriented cable car hall with comprehensive equipment for cable cars and lifts.
In future, the all-year-round usage of the tourism infrastructure will become ever more important, particularly the usage of cable cars in the summer. Contemporary mobility with regard to speed, comfort and equipment is becoming ever more important. The topic of visitor management on the mountain will also increasingly become a focus of the industry. Experiences and discovering new things are increasingly being seen as motivators for a holiday trip and the decision in favour of a particular destination. A well-developed infrastructure is the key to a positive holiday experience.