The Austrian Tirol have announced encouraging figures for the 2014/15 winter season, the period to the end of April 2015 accounting for 5.6 million visitors, generating overnight stays totalling in excess of 25 million.

A four percent year on year increase is especially welcome for a period not regarded as a vintage winter sports season, erratic snowfall particularly at the beginning of the season – that each year seems to open earlier than the last – and climatic variables that took the usual vicissitudinal yo-yoing of the alpine weather to new extremes heavily influencing a business sector increasingly vulnerable to capricious atmospheric conditions.  Whilst SOME Russian visitors are tolerated in resorts like Soelden and St. Anton more for their tourist euros than an adherence to exemplary behaviour, an addendum should be included in the Tirol’s seasonal visitor figures noting a vast drop in guests from the former Soviet Union, a 35% decrease absorbed by a spike in patronage particularly from neighbouring Germany and Switzerland, residents of both countries benefiting from a geographic proximity that allows for last minute decisions to travel to be made, depending on a propitious forecast or temperatures low enough for synthetic snow to be produced. The Tirol also enjoyed an increase in patronage from the traditionally strong British and Dutch markets.

A tendency towards shorter stays in the Alps again suggests its core market is increasingly centred on travellers from adjacent nations, who will continue to make up the bulk of overnight stays thanks to the Tirol’s accessibility from a raft of Central European countries that facilitates opportunities for many skiers to take advantage of a long weekend in the mountains, without the need to absent themselves from work.

Further reading on this matter can be found at:

Tiroler Tageszeitung: Tirol winter visitor numbers increased for 2014/15 season