Press release: 12.151-217/19

50 years travel survey: Travel intensity has more than doubled since 1969, travel volume more than quadrupled

Vienna, 2019-12-13 – The importance of travel has increased significantly over the past five decades. Whereas in 1969 only slightly more than a quarter of the Austrian resident population took at least one main holiday trip (27.5%), by 2018 the figure had already risen to 60.1%. The travel intensity of the Austrian resident population has thus more than doubled.

In the same period, the volume of travel on main holiday trips more than quadrupled (1969: 2.4 million, 2018: 10.2 million). The number of main holiday trips abroad increased more than sixfold (1969: 1.1 million, 2018: 7.0 million), while the number of domestic holiday trips more than doubled (1969: 1.3 million, 2018: 3.2 million).

Italy has been the most popular holiday destination abroad for 40 years

For holidays with more than four overnight stays, Austrians now prefer international destinations: In 2018, 68.3% of the main holiday trips were spent abroad; until the beginning of the 1980s, the majority of the main holiday trips were still spent in Austria (1969: 55.0%). Only 13.4% of the Austrian resident population spent at least one main holiday abroad 50 years ago, by 2018 it was already slightly more than one in two (52.0%).

The radius in which the Austrian population moves on main holiday trips is relatively small: For years, those yearning for a holiday trip were drawn to the South: Italy is still the most popular destination abroad (2018: 20.7%), but the long-term comparison shows that the importance of destinations such as Croatia and Germany is increasing, at the expense of Italy. In 2018 Croatia ranks second with a share of 15.1%, followed by Germany (9.1%), Spain (7.4%) and Greece (5.7%).

Domestic holidays have also become more popular in the past 50 years: In 1969, only 15.6% of Austrians spent at least one main holiday in Austria, compared with 43.7% in 2018. Domestic holidays are most frequently spent in Styria (1969: 21.1%, 2018: 20.8%).

Private car still the most import means of transport

For half a century now, the most important means of transport for holiday trips has been the car (1969: 60.9%, 2018: 54.3%). In 1969, the aircraft played a minor role with a share of 3.4%; by 2018, however, the proportion has increased tenfold (2018: 30.4%), which was mainly at the expense of the railways and coaches. In 1969, rail was used in a quarter of all major holiday trips (1969: 24.5%), in 2018 the share was only 7.0%.

More frequent but shorter trips

While half of the main holiday trips lasted between one and two weeks 50 years ago, the share was only 35.1% in 2018. Accordingly, the proportion of main holiday trips of five to seven days has risen, from around 11.7% in 1969 to 52.2% in 2018.  
Austrians have always traveled more in summer than in winter, but winter holidays became more important. While in 1969 only 12.0% of the main holiday trips took place in winter, in 2018 the share was almost one third (31.4%). Over the years a trend towards a more even distribution of travel has been observed: Whereas in 1969 more than half (61.5%) of the main holiday abroad were undertaken during the holiday months of July and August, in 2018 only 35.8%

For more information concerning travel habits of the Austrians please refer to our website or the 
German version.

Information on the Holiday Travel Survey, definitions:  
travel intensity: share of persons aged 15 and more with at least one holiday trip (with more than 4 nights spent)  
travel volume: number of main holiday trips (with more than four nights spent) 
In 1969, the first holiday travel survey took place, in which 94 000 people were interviewed about the holiday trips with at least four overnight stays (=main holiday trips) carried out between 1 November 1968 and 31 October 1969. Topics of the survey included the duration of the trip, the destination, the means of transport used, the type of accommodation and the travel expenses. Since then, the methodology and scope of the survey have been continually adapted. Between 1969 and 2002, the survey was conducted every three years as a special programme for the microcensus. Until 2004 the surveys - based on a European legal basis for tourism statistics - were carried out quarterly by external market research institutes and since the first quarter of 2005 the surveys have been carried out by Statistics Austria itself in its own telephone studio.


Main holiday trips1) 1969 to 2018
Share of persons aged 15 and older with at least one main holiday trip (in %)
Domestic trips15.
Trips abroad13.
Domestic trips and trips abroad (in 1 000)
Domestic trips1 330
1 841
1 988
.3 2223 239
Trips abroad1 088
1 841
2 635
.5 8666 974
Total2 418
3 682
4 623
.9 08710 213
Domestic trips and trips abroad (share in %)
Domestic trips55.0
Trips abroad45.0
Top-destinations abroad (share in % of trips abroad, ranking based on 2018)
Great Britain1.
Czech Republic0.
Long distance trips2)
Other destinations41.742.241.821.821.120.5
Means of transport (share in %)
Duration of holiday trip (share in %, selection)
5–7 days11.7
8–14 days52.2
15–21 days22.9
S: STATISTICS AUSTRIA. – 1) Holiday trips with at least 4 nights spent. – 2) Holiday trips outside Europe and Turkey. "." … no data available.

For further inquiries please contact Directorate Spatial Statistics, Statistics Austria:  
Peter LAIMER, Tel.: +43 (1) 71128-7849 resp. and  
Rebecka WURIAN, Tel.: +43 (1) 71128-7597 resp. 

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