In 2017, Austria’s largest congress centre brought more than 100,000 international participants to Vienna for the first time. The venue also once again exceeded the record revenue figure from the previous year.
Vienna is one of the leading destinations for international congresses – last year Barcelona was the only city in the world to host more. The Austria Center Vienna, which brought more than 100,000 international visitors to the capital last year for the first time, has a significant hand to play in the city’s standing as destination. “Our focus on large-scale congresses is paying dividends – over the past four years we have almost doubled the number of international participants at the venue,” explained Management Board Spokesperson Susanne Baumann-Söllner. Last year around 105,000 international participants attended events hosted at the nation’s largest congress centre. This represents a 13% year-on-year increase, and a jump of 104% compared with 2013 when Baumann-Söllner first assumed responsibility for the venue’s congress business.
International congress guests secure more than 3,000 jobs
A typical congress attendee spends around twice as much as the average visitor to Vienna – EUR 538, to be precise. As a result, international competition is extremely strong in the congress tourism sector. The latest analysis published by the Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS) confirms the positive economic impact of conferences on the tourism industry, hospitality trade and wider infrastructure. The 105,000 international participants that came to the venue during the year generated induced economic impact of around EUR 455m. When the employment effect is extrapolated into person years, events at the Austria Center Vienna accounted for more than 3,000 year-round jobs in Austria in 2017 alone.
Revenue record set last year exceeded once again
The high number of participants is also reflected in revenue, with the all-time high set by the company in 2016 immediately surpassed in 2017. With EUR 12.3m in revenue from events, the year-on-year rise amounted to 2.9%. Since Susanne Baumann-Söllner arrived in 2013, revenue attributable to events has jumped 48%. “For us, 2017 marked a seamless continuation of the positive development in recent years. In addition to maintaining a high level of quality when it comes to organising and hosting events, numerous other factors had a hand to play. Ongoing global acquisitions, infrastructure modernisation activities and a highly motivated team were all factors. Close cooperation with the Vienna Tourist Board under Norbert Kettner and the Vienna Convention Bureau under Christian Mutschlechner were also key to our success.”