• 16. - 19. January 2025
  • Messe Wien

"Ferien-Messe Wien" – 4 Days of Pure Wanderlust

From the 16th – 19th March 2023, the Ferien-Messe Wien was staged at Messe Wien under the slogan: "Around the world in 4 days", showcasing some of the most wonderful holiday destinations around the globe. Whether seeking holidays in Austria or in far-away destinations, visitors attended a fair that lived up to its reputation as Austria's largest trade fair for holidays, travel and leisure – and to its status as the most important platform for the vacations industry.

RX Austria & Germany also organised two shows parallel to the Ferien Messe Wien: The Wohnen & Interieur and Wiener Immobilien Messe, attracting a total of over 840 exhibitors and 68,923 visitors to Messe Wien.

The variety on offer was enormous, from luxurious cruises to cosy farm holidays and day-trip leisure tips. There was an impressive side-events programme on two stages, too, featuring fascinating talks, field reports and tips on travel, photography and adventure pursuits.

© RX Austria & Germany/Daniuel Fabbro

Tourism stimulates the economy

“The large crowds at this holiday fair clearly show that the desire to travel is intact. The domestic industry was strongly represented with 269 Austrian exhibitors, encouraging even more people to spend their holidays in Austria. Our businesses, destinations and tourism promoters have done a fantastic job here,” enthused the Austrian State Secretary for Tourism Susanne Kraus-Winkler.

Austria is a popular destination for foreign tourists. Moreover, Austrians themselves like to spend their vacations in their own country, too. Barbara Leithner, COO of the event organisers RX Austria & Germany, analyses as follows: “A total of 137 million overnight stays in 2022, and the added value generated, show tourism is a key factor for the Austrian economy.”

© RX Austria & Germany/Christopher Blank

Leading trade fair for the domestic tourist industry

As well as being a regular fixture for holiday-seekers, the Ferien-Messe Wien is also the annual gathering for visitors from within the domestic travel and tourism industries – as confirmed by Robert Seeber, the fair-opening tourism expert and head of the tourism and leisure industry department at the Austrian Federal Chamber of Commerce: “The Ferien-Messe is the leading trade fair for this industry.”

Gerald Stainoch, Head of Sales for the Ferien-Messe Wien, commented: “This year's format has again enabled us to show how we provide the tourism industry with an important boost, and I would like to thank our exhibitors for their loyalty to the Ferien-Messe Wien.”

The show had plenty to offer on an international level, too. This was reflected in the large number of foreign exhibitors, in total more than 250, who were delighted to note the immense interest expressed, and demand generated, by visitors. 

Sustainable tourism increases in importance 

Increasing numbers of destinations and businesses are addressing the issue of sustainable travel. The Republic of Croatia made a particularly noticeable appearance at the Ferien Messe Wien this year. Austria is an important market for Croatian tourism. The Minister of Tourism and Sports of the Republic of Croatia, Nikolina Brnjac, explained: “Our new strategy for sustainable tourism development has been awarded the 'Naturally Croatia' quality seal, and shows that we comply with the highest standards.” Branimir Tončinić, Director of the Croatian National Tourist Board, adds: “We aim to extend the season, move away from mass tourism and thereby preserve the natural environment. The future lies in sustainable tourism, a development that is also acknowledged by our guests.”

Michele Fanton, Managing Director of the major tour operator RUEFA, says his company is also paying increased attention to the issue of sustainability: “The trend is towards consciously sustainable travel. We are currently in the process of defining what sustainability means from the RUEFA perspective. Sales advice is an area of particular focus. We’re analysing the products already available and considering what else can be done to give customers a good feeling when they travel. Environmental protection is an issue of ever-increasing importance.”

TUI has developed its own sustainability agenda and recently presented it the at the Vienna Ferien-Messe: "The ambitious goals, pioneering initiatives and holistic approach of the agenda enable us to remain the industry’s leader in sustainability. We are convinced tourism can be an engine for progress and development in many holiday destinations, which is why we aim to strengthen and develop these processes. Thomas Ellerbeck, Chief Sustainability Officer of the TUI Group and member of the Group Executive Committee, elaborates: “For us, sustainable transformation is not a threat, but rather an opportunity.”

Growing focus on local recreational opportunities

Holidays are no longer about escaping to far-off destinations. Today’s trend is toward seeking out local opportunities and facilities, and is particularly noticeable in recreation areas in and around large cities. Initiatives are now being launched to help people realise there are recreational choices just a few stops down the line.

“Vienna is one of the target markets for Lower Austrian tourism, especially in the excursion segment,” says the Lower Austrian tourism expert Jürgen Mayrhofer of Niederösterreich Werbung. In his opinion, in the future there will be greater development in places that can be reached by train, and believes: “Sustainability and mobility can be expected to play a major role in tourism in the years ahead.” However, he sees this process as being in its nascency, stating that, “sustainability has to become integral to the entire offering – from the individual provider to the hotel, from the railway service to the tour operator.”

Julia Heidt of Burgenland Tourism spoke positively about the Ferien-Messe Wien: "We are very enthusiastic about the fair concept, and intend to continue down this road. Burgenland is a nearby catchment area for Viennese and Lower Austrian visitors; and we’ve noticed that people no longer plan so far in advance. Now, they tend to book at short notice, decide spontaneously and take several short trips rather than one big holiday.”

Next year, the Ferien-Messe Wien celebrates its 45th anniversary. Holidays are a ‘live’ experience, so the travel and tourism industry will continue to emphasise face-to-face contact. “As organisers”, says Andreas Ott, Head of Operations for the Ferien Messe Wien, “the Ferien-Messe Wien has shown us once again how important it is to make holidays a tangible experience for visitors. We’re looking forward to the next edition of the fair in the first quarter of 2024, and to welcoming so many major destinations and exhibitors yet again.”

Further inquiry note:

Adrienn Haidinger
Marketing Manager
[email protected]