Economy & Politics

Classification as a corona risk area a “disaster”

According to estimates, Vienna could lose 70 percent of overnight stays this year. Photo: dpa / Helmut Fohringer

On Wednesday, Vienna was declared a risk area due to the increased number of infections. According to experts, this is an enormous blow for tourism, after all, the Germans belong to the most important group of guests.

Vienna – The classification of the city as a corona risk area means an enormous blow for tourism in Vienna, according to experts. “This is a great disaster,” said Vienna’s tourism director Norbert Kettner on Thursday. The Germans have always been the most important group of guests and have remained loyal to the city, especially during the corona crisis. German guests accounted for 35 percent of the overnight stays in July.

Now tourism, which had a record year in 2019, is heading towards a decline in overnight stays of 70 percent this year. “Some hotels will lock up temporarily, some forever.” In Vienna, 116,000 jobs were directly or indirectly linked to tourism. An estimated 35,000 now threatened to be lost.

Because of the increased number of infections, Germany declared Vienna a risk area on Wednesday. The federal government issued a travel warning for the Austrian capital. A negative PCR test or quarantine is therefore required for all travelers to Vienna when they return to Germany. The German ambassador to Austria, Ralf Beste, stated on ORF radio that the situation was being checked regularly in a “very flexible process”. “If the infection rate in Vienna is stable below the threshold value of 50, then we will be happy to adjust that.”

Numerous Germans potentially affected

A total of 60,000 Germans who live in the city are also potentially affected. The Germans, including many students, make up the third largest group of citizens of foreign origin after Serbs and Turks. Vienna’s Mayor Michael Ludwig tried to be calm on Wednesday. “Such measures also apply to Brussels, Paris, Prague and Geneva. We are dealing with a European development, not a Viennese peculiarity. “

The prospects are also gloomy for tourism in Austria as a whole, which in the summer season at least in the Alps and at the lakes went better than initially feared. There have so far been significantly fewer reservations for the winter, said expert Thomas Reisenzahn from Prodinger’s tourism advisor to the Viennese newspaper “Kurier”. “In most companies, winter is two-thirds responsible for the operating result.”

Current reports, background information worth knowing and useful tips – in our dossier we bundle all articles on Corona.


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