Austrian National Tourist Office that recently concluded its three-day B2B virtual roadshow – Virtual atb 2021 – is finely tuned to the needs and trends of the Indian market and will tweak its strategy only once cross-border travel opens up.
The Austrian Tourism Days (ÖTT) that was held from May 17-19, 2021 was dedicated to the return of travel, ahead of Austria’s reopening on May 19. The three-day conference focused on sales, innovation, safe holidays and the future of travel to provide the industry with short and medium-term orientation. Part of this event was the atb.virtual – a B2B platform for the Austrian industry to present itself to international buyers, including 12 travel companies from India.
Speaking about the response from India at this virtual show, Christine Mukharji, Market Manager, India, Austrian National Tourist Office, says, “We had 12 travel companies participate in Virtual atb 2021. The response was very encouraging and enthusiastic with all agents looking forward to gaining further insight into Austria and its products to be prepared once travel opens. Since we have a limited amount of agents we could accommodate from each country at the atb virtual, we could not accept participation of any more Indian travel agents.”
Speaking on the sidelines of the event was Austria’s Minister for Tourism Elisabeth Köstinger, who said, “We are at the beginning of a big comeback in tourism. Our businesses’ success in attracting guests is never a coincidence, but the result of hard work. The Tourism Days are a strong sign of life from the industry and an internal and external signal that Austrian tourism is back –let’s go!”
Highlights of the B2B meets
Giving a peek into the main concerns of the Indian buyers, Mukharji says, “Given the current scenario, their only concern is the rules and regulations of each country once they open and most importantly when will Austria be open for Indian tourists to visit. People seem eager to travel and are waiting for travel to open up.”
She adds that ANTO will continue to target B2B and B2C like it has in the past. “For now, our plan once we restart promotions will be to continue promoting all the destinations as previously and then tweak our promotions as new trends emerge. Getting latest research data and stats going forward will help in this to a certain degree for sure and we do refer to various available data. We are finely tuned to the needs and trends of the Indian market and work our strategies accordingly,” Mukharji adds.
ANTO has already been engaging with its network of agents through various channels like its WhatsApp business group, social media like Facebook and Instagram and also through varied travel associations. “We have run numerous contests where we gave out gift packs and gift vouchers to agents which was a big hit. In addition, we have started our ‘Visit Austria’ App where agents can keep abreast of all developments in Austria and also renew/become an Austrian Certified Travel Specialist member,” Mukharji reveals, adding that as per the latest update from the Austrian government, Covishield has been mentioned as one of the five recognised vaccines for its