Extension of season by Wachau Advent - Implementation 2018

Wachau Advent © Stadt Melk/Franz Gleiß
Wachau Advent © Stadt Melk/Franz Gleiß

Tourism in the Wachau has developed extremely well in recent years, especially in summer. The numbers of arrivals and overnight visitors are positive and rising. However, summer isn’t the only season to be experiencing an upward trend – off-peak times for tourists in the spring and late autumn are also increasingly in demand. A range of initiatives has been developed, especially during the cooler months, to attract visitors from Austria and abroad.

The “Wachau Advent” aims at linking existing attractions and events, such as Christmas markets, lectures and baptisms with wine, with the topic of light as a way of making them a unique experience for visitors. Advent should thus become the driver for creating an autumn/winter season of relevance to overnight stays. Specifically, offers should be developed that entice visitors to spend at least two to three days in the region.

Following a trial period in 2017, the aim now is to start gradually building up the developed ideas over the next few years on the basis of the existing detailed implementation concept. During 2018, the first lighting and illumination measures are being carried out in four municipalities within the scope of this LEADER project, while a start is also being made on the concept for the coming years.

These elements should attract visitors and draw them to the municipalities for existing events. The core product is a themed boat trip through the region which will bring visitors to the individual events, where they can marvel at the illuminations. The concept has a multi-tier structure and will be expanded in stages over the coming years.

Combining the lighting elements with existing as well as new offers and events should create a product that stimulates overnight tourism during this period. By extending the season, the goal is to boost both the number of overnight stays and the regional value added at this time of year.

Discussed in the project selection committee: 17.09.2018
Project promoter: Donau Niederösterreich Tourismus GmbH
Funding level: 70%
Project duration: 01.10.2018 – 31.12.2018
Supported by the federal province and the European Union (LEADER).