Ski resort introduces quota for Russians

8th February 2007, Comments 0 comments

8 February 2007, Vienna (dpa) - Kitzbuehel, a major Austrian ski resort town, has responded to concern that it was attracting more guests from Russia than they are prepared to handle by introducing a 10 per cent quota, reports said Thursday. Hotel owners in the up-market Tyrolean resort agreed on the quota because of fears that too many Russians might keep away other guests Austrian media reported. In recent years, the number of Russian visitors to Austria has increased signifcantly, with up-market ski res

8 February 2007

Vienna (dpa) - Kitzbuehel, a major Austrian ski resort town, has responded to concern that it was attracting more guests from Russia than they are prepared to handle by introducing a 10 per cent quota, reports said Thursday.

Hotel owners in the up-market Tyrolean resort agreed on the quota because of fears that too many Russians might keep away other guests Austrian media reported.

In recent years, the number of Russian visitors to Austria has increased signifcantly, with up-market ski resorts and cities like Vienna or Salzburg the main beneficiaries from Russia's new wealth and growing urban middle class.

Russians for example are the third-largest group among the guests in the Tyrolean resorts Soelden and Mayrhofen. Austrian tourism officials last year reported increases by up to 20 per cent for visitors from Russia and the Ukraine.

The influx of Russian guests is however not universally welcome, although the concerns are discussed only reluctantly. Hotel managers privately fear that other guests will stay away if too many Russians were present.

Quoting similar problems in Swiss resorts, Kitzbuehel's hotel association decided on a 10 per cent quota for Russian guests.

Kitzbuehel tourism director Renate Danler told the Austrian ORF that interest from Russian tour operators in Kitzbuehel was big, but the town could only take a limited number due to bookings from other international operators.

If the share of Russian guests was above 10 per cent, further requests would be rejected. A certain imbalance developed if too many guests of one nation were in a hotel, the head of the association, Rupert Mayr-Reisch said.

Kitzbuehel's decision met with sharp criticism from the Austrian Hotel Association.

President Sepp Schellhorn said the quota was "absurd and very short-sighted." He added that this decision was counter-productive and discriminating. The bulk of tourists in Kitzbuehel was from Germany, and no-one considered introducing German guest quotas, Schellhorn argued.

DPA

Subject: German news

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