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Building Stronger Networks: International Cooperation Projects for Efficient Mobility

The Vienna Tourist Board entered into various international mobility partnerships – primarily involving national carriers Austrian Airlines, Austrian Federal Railways and Vienna International Airport – to enhance the city’s accessibility by train and plane as part of its ongoing Air and Rail Service Development activities. 

In 2023, 39% of visitors to Vienna traveled to the city by plane, 31% by train and 23% by car, with the remainder using other means of transport. As the medium-sized capital city of a small country, Vienna can only succeed in terms of tourism and the economy as a whole if it is deeply embedded into international transport networks. A series of wide ranging cooperation projects were also realized in 2023 as part of the Vienna Tourist Board’s Air and Rail Service Development activities, reflecting the strategic importance of the city’s international connections.

Strategic Pillars: Air and Rail Service Development Activities

Under the pioneering Air Service Development agreement, Vienna International Airport and the Vienna Tourist Board have been working together since 2016 to bring new direct flights from major cities worldwide to the Austrian capital. The shared goal is to acquire international long-haul services from network carriers, since international links are a core focus not just for Vienna as a tourist destination, but also for the city as a major international capital. 

In addition to sharing data and information on an ongoing basis, the Vienna Tourist Board and Vienna International Airport hosted a group of ten network managers from international airlines, including Air Canada, in the city in 2023. The budget for short-haul and long-haul markets with a focus on the USA was increased by Austrian Airlines - the joint expenditure amounted to EUR 2 million. Under their joint marketing activities, the Vienna Tourist Board and Austrian Airlines also targeted the United Kingdom, among other countries. Activities were supplemented by B2B events and tour operator collabs in Canada, France and Spain with various focuses, including promotion of newly introduced flights to Vienna.

Vienna Tourist Board Builds on International Rail Partnerships

Rail Service Development is another key aspect of mobility, with Germany and Switzerland forming a key strategic focus. Activities in this area center on the cooperation with Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB), which is committed to positioning Vienna as the European hub for overnight rail services. ÖBB and the Vienna Tourist Board invested a combined total of EUR 140,000 in promoting the Nightjet project. With each partner contributing half of the amount, the funds were used for campaigns, digital marketing and cooperations with booking and travel portals.

As part of a cross-border autumn campaign, the Vienna Tourist Board, Deutsche Bahn and Austrian Federal Railways specifically promoted Vienna in Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Frankfurt, Cologne, Düsseldorf and Stuttgart in 2023. Together, the three partners invested a total of EUR 310,000 to promote environmentally-friendly rail travel to Vienna in order to strengthen the city's position as Europe's central rail hub. The cooperation further helps the Vienna Tourist Board to achieve its strategic objective of increasing the share of visitors who travel to the capital by rail. In recognition of its work with the rail sector, the Vienna Tourist Board was awarded the Rail Tourism Award for Best Cross-Border Campaign for the “United Cities of Tourism” and “Celebrate Life. Experience Vienna” campaigns that it ran with ÖBB and Deutsche Bahn as part of its Rail Service Development activities. Additional projects in 2023 included partnerships with the German train travel provider Ameropa as well as Railtour Suisse, which involved an additional investment of EUR 45,000.

Vienna Turns Last Mile Green

One of the major mobility challenges in tourism is managing the last mile, which, in many regions, still has to be covered by car, even by visitors who travel to the city by rail. A challenge, in fact, that Vienna's city tourism solved decades ago: to help keep visitors’ carbon footprints as low as possible once they arrive in the city, the Vienna Tourist Board has been offering its guests unlimited travel throughout Vienna’s central zone for almost 30 years with the Vienna City Card, the capital's official guest card.

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