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The lockdown should have been better prepared. Now, improvements to the compensation measures are indispensable, explain Austria’s tourism organizations.

Vienna (OTS) – “This lockdown could have been prevented. In any case, it should have been better prepared ”, say Michaela Reitterer, President of the Austrian Hotel Association (ÖHV), Mathias Schattleitner, President of the Federal Austrian Tourism Manager (BÖTM), and Klaus Panholzer, President of the Austrian Leading Sights, after the announcement of a 10 to 20-day lockdown three days before it came into effect: “It was clear to everyone how badly tourism would be hit by the absence of guests. Nevertheless, the economic aid was decided overnight and without the involvement of practitioners. Nobody should be surprised that the result is very different from what the companies need in practice. And that is at the expense of the companies and the trust of employees and guests in Austria as a holiday destination. ”

Reitterer: 100% short-time work compensation from the 1st day and extension of the VAT reduction

Reitterer wants to prevent another wave of employees leaving the tourism industry: “On Monday, thousands of employment contracts will come into force in every destination. Long-term employees are desperate. You need 100% short-time work from the first day to the last. The companies have full stocks and open bills, Christmas bonuses are pending and we face the challenge of hardly earning anything for weeks. ”Because even if the lockdown should end after ten or twenty days, as announced, the season will only start very tentatively: “The government cannot avoid extending the VAT reduction.” In addition, the compensation instruments need pragmatic solutions for start-ups that have no sales or loss of income from the previous year, and companies with a change of legal form or ownership that went empty last year already: “This crisis affects all companies, regardless of their entry in the commercial register.”

Schattleitner: Compensate tourism associations for loss of income

The crisis is hitting tourism associations and destination management organizations, important cooperation partners in the hotel, gastronomy and leisure industries just as hard: They too are losing a large amount of income, warns Schattleitner: “Corporations under public law have not yet been entitled to compensation for loss of income. If we don’t change that quickly, it will soon be very, very difficult to continue to provide our services professionally. Tourism will need every kind of professional support it can get in terms of market communication, ”says Schattleitner, in addition to compensation measures for associations and DMOs, as well as medium-term financing concepts.

Panholzer: 5% VAT permanently for sights

The pandemic and the global economic crisis also leave unmistakable economic traces in Austria’s leading tourist attractions. For this reason, Panholzer advocates sustainable tax support for long-term recovery and relief: “The 13% VAT rate on admission tickets, which is currently only reduced to 5% for a limited period, must be permanently abolished in order to remain internationally competitive.” Austrian Leading Sights demands a dismantling of the entry and access barriers for international guests. There is an urgent need to recognize international vaccines such as Sputnik, Sinovac and Sinopharm both for entry into Austria and for visiting attractions.


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Inquiries & contact:


Österreichische Hoteliervereinigung

Martin Stanits

Head of Public Affairs | Company spokesman

T: +43 664 516 08 31


Austrian Leading Sights

Mag. (FH) Florian Felder

Head of Public Affairs |


T: +43 664 183 40 78


Federation of Austrian Tourism Managers

Mag. (FH) Christian Schirlbauer

Secretary General

T: +43 664 531 75 55