Germany, Austria team for Unesco site tours

STUTTGART, Germany -- In a first-ever joint marketing effort, the German and Austrian tourism boards by midsummer will offer auto and rail tours combining both countries' top Unesco World Heritage sites to tour operators in their home markets and the U.S.

While several U.S. operators expressed interest in the two 10-day and one five-day itineraries -- from Frankfurt or Munich to Salzburg and Vienna -- none has yet committed, said Birgit Dittmar, Unesco product manager for the German National Tourist Board (GNTB).

The U.S. was designated as a launch market for the product because "Americans value the importance of Unesco designations more than most," Dittmar said.

The packages will consist of accommodation at Unesco partner hotels, guided town tours, city and museum passes and visits to World Cultural Heritage sites; for example, five-day itineraries from Munich will stop at the Wieskirche church at Pfaffenwinkel, Germany, and the historic centers of Salzburg and Hallstatt in Austria.

The GNTB also is interested in devising similar tours in partnership with Switzerland, said Dittmar.

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