Austria has long been known for its scenic mountain-scape and accompanying alpine skiing, boasting some of the best slopes in the world. In February 2013, the town of Schladming will once again host the Alpine World Ski Championships, where the best men and women skiers will compete for medals in front of a worldwide audience in the small town located at the foot of the Dachstein mountain range.
“The FIS Alpine World Ski Championships will be marked on the calendars of ski race enthusiasts everywhere,” according to Scott Robarge, a skiier from Colorado.
The allure of alpine skiing and other winter sports and activities has allowed Austria to capture a 57 percent market share for winter sports destinations, leading Germany, the Netherlands (both of which are its closest competitors), France, Italy and Switzerland. Austria landed a new visitor record in the 2010-2011season, boasting 15.7 million visitors. “With the economy improving I imagine Europe will continue to be a very desirable destination for skiers, ” says Scott Robarge. The economic impact of all of these visitors during the winter months cannot go unnoticed. In addition to providing jobs for the local people, the tourism boom has prevented the emigration of the people living in the rural areas where winter sports are most practiced. In addition to conserving the towns and the livelihoods of their residents, the conservation of the beautiful landscape and countryside can also be attributed to the tourism boom.
A lot of the credit can be given to the town of Schladming, as that town bolsters the tourism of the entire region. Schladming will host the annual Nightrace and the Alpine World Ski Championships in 2013 and the Alpine World Cup finals. Financed and organized by the Austrian Ski Federation, these ski events provide a stage for the whole world to catch a glimpse of the natural and cultural beauty that Austria has to offer. “Austria has always been known for its world class skiing and skiers,” notes Scott Robarge.
Austria is angling to become a winter sport destination, not just focusing on alpine skiing. Snowshoe hiking, horse-drawn sleigh rides, and cross-country skiing are other winter sports that are attracting visitors. Austria has provided an answer to the need voiced by tourists from Hungary, the Czech Republic, Italy, Great Britain, France, Switzerland and Germany, who are all looking for more than just skiing activities when they vacation in Austria. Austria's boost to other attractions, such as wellness adventures, culinary specialties, and the bountiful cultural opportunities, are all attractive options to tourists from all around Europe.
“Vail/Beaver Creek, Colorado is one of the finalists for 2013 will be the host for the FIS World Ski Championships in 2015,” says Scott Robarge.