NEW YORK -- Diplomatic sanctions imposed on Austria in February by
the 14 other European Union members were "not effective at all" in
hurting tourism, according to Mares Rossmann, Austria's first state
secretary for tourism in the Ministry of Economic Affairs.
For the months January through April 2000 compared with the same
period in 1999, Austria saw a 200% increase in room nights from
Belgium, a 29% increase from France and a 10% increase from the
U.S., she said.
Speaking at a press briefing here, Rossmann, one of three female
politicians in the Freedom Party, described the 1999-2000 winter
season -- November through March -- as one of Austria's best in the
last 10 years.
Room nights, totaling 47.3 million, showed an increase of 2.3%
over the previous winter season, according to figures released by
the Austrian National Tourist Office.
From January to March, U.S. visitors spent 249,668 room nights
Vienna, where more than 40% of all U.S. visitors stay, recorded
118,000 U.S. room nights from January through April (a 4% increase
from 1999) and 43,000 U.S. room nights in April alone (a 10%
increase from 1999).
In 1999, the U.S. ranked eighth in the number of room nights
from foreign visitors to Austria at nearly 1.6 million, with some
The additional Austrian Airlines gateways of Washington and
Chicago, added March 26, and the strong dollar, which can buy 27%
more than it could in 1999, are both expected to boost Austria's
tourism from the U.S. in 2000.