I got an urgent call from the Adamwirt, asking me to attend a meeting of the Tourist Association. They wanted me to represent the holiday house we look after in the village. The owners were there, but as they spoke no German, it seemed fairly pointless they attend! As soon as I got there, I was asked to get a proxy authorisation so I could vote, why they hadn’t done this earlier, heavens knows!I managed to contact the owners, they slunk in and signed and left me to it! All the local pubs and holiday places were there.
Now Lungau has 15 councils, all of which have a tourist board. They do their own advertising and their own websites, although they are all linked to the Lungau one. Considering that there are about 20,000 peeps in the Lungau, it seems a bit of an overkill!
First of all we had a presentation and here’s some interesting or useless facts depending on your point of view…..In all areas such as visits, the overnight stays and arrivals in the past few years has increased (despite bad marketing). Most guests come from Germany, not Austria! With the eastern block countries next- no mention of the UK!!!!
Most of the website adds are not geared up to direct booking online, and the owners don’t check the websites for traffic, and there is no one in Lungau with a direct payment link on the website. Over half have less than 10 pictures on the site, have the site in another language, hardly any have a best price guarantee. With over 600 calls a day on the helpline, and one guest in four visits the business homepage, you can see a lot of trade is being lost and the Lungau is in the dark ages!
There is a booking offensive planned but the first step is……. the Tourist boards must work together! They might actually have to open the offices when the tourists need them – on the weekend, they will have to make it possible to buy Cross country skiing tickets when people need them! They will have to let people from another Geminde advertise on THEIR website, heavens forbid that someone in Tamsweg could book in Ramingstein!
Our Mayor went on about all the wonderful things there are in Ramingstein, completely unable to see the bigger picture. Then someone said, and if we vote for a collaboration in five years time you’ll want to it all under one board, the answer to which was –yes! I could see people thinking, bugger, there goes my nice little earner!
However, commonsense did finally prevail and now, there are three groups of five councils having to face reform and be dragged into the new century, but I guess they’ll stop moaning when they make more money!
Yet a little voice says, do we want MORE tourists, don’t want the Lungau ruined…………