Tourism Analysis May to August 2020


Significant Drop in Demand in the First Four Summer Months

Compared to May and June (guest arrivals 73.7 percent, overnight stays 70.0 percent), the losses in demand in the main months of summer 2020 were much smaller (July and August: arrivals 23.0 percent, overnight stays 14.0 percent). Overall, however, the season to date has seen considerable losses of 43.2 percent in arrivals and 33.0 percent in overnight stays. From May to August 2020, tourism revenues are estimated to have declined by a nominal 31.7 percent to € 7.22 billion (real 33.0 percent).

As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, domestic guests travelled in their own country much more often in the main summer season 2020 than in 2019. The dynamic growth in August was even stronger in comparison to July (+10.2 percent and +15.9 percent) with +15.6 percent in arrivals and +22.6 percent in overnight stays (extrapolation). Especially destinations at lakes and in alpine regions benefited above average from this development in both months (overnight stays: Carinthia +38.9 percent, Salzburg +27.7 percent, Tyrol +23.4 percent, Styria +22.4 percent), in Austria excluding Vienna domestic travellers spent the night 21.8 percent more frequently. In contrast, international demand continued to be subject to severe restrictions on air travel and entry bans, with the result that the number of arrivals in August fell by 35.6 percent and overnight stays by 23.6 percent. The absence of foreign – and in particular long-distance travelers – guests in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic hit city tourism particularly hard: in the first four summer months Vienna lost 85.6 percent of its international overnight stays compared to 2019, and more than three quarters in the peak season (July 77.8 percent, August 76.8 percent). Lower Austria also suffered disproportionately from a massive decline in overnight stays by foreign travelers in the wake of the federal capital (August 49.8 percent; May to August 62.4 percent), not least due to the cancellation of major events and congresses.


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Oliver Fritz

Research groups: Structural Change and Regional Development
© Paul Gilmore/Unsplash
© Paul Gilmore/Unsplash