Tourism Analysis May to July 2020

04.09.2020

Demand is Almost Cut in Half in the First Three Months of the Summer Season 2020

After a massive decline of arrivals (–73.7 percent) and overnight stays in Austria (–70.0 percent) in May and June 2020, induced by the COVID-19 crisis, demand recuperated somewhat in July: Arrivals declined by only 26.6 percent, overnight stays by 17.4 percent. Demand was thus about 50 percent lower in the first half of the summer season 2020 compared to previous year levels. As a result, according to estimates by the Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO), income generated from tourism shrank by 44.1 percent in the same period.

A look at the regional performance revealed vast differences: while Vienna's tourism industry, which strongly relies on international visitors and markets outside Europe, was hit hardest (–86.0 percent of tourism receipts between May and July 2020), regions like Carinthia (–24.6 percent) or Styria (–29.8 percent) performed much better.

Since infection rates in Austria and elsewhere are rising again, the outlook for the coming months remains bleak. For the year 2020 as a whole, we estimate a decline in overnight stays by 30 percent with a lower reduction in domestic overnight stays (–15 percent) than in international ones (–33 percent). Uncertainty about the tourism industry's development in the upcoming fall and winter seasons remains very high, though: if infection rates continue to rise, both, a further tightening of legal restrictions on the supply side (hotels, restaurants, transport) and a sharper drop of demand seems possible.
 

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Oliver Fritz

Research groups: Structural Change and Regional Development
© Dimitry Anikin/Unsplash
© Dimitry Anikin/Unsplash