Meetologue 2015


The stunning architecture and an interesting similarity between the postcards of Salzburg and Ljubljana is usually my first association of this romantic and idyllic place. Above Salzburg is the mighty Hohensalzburg fortress, the largest, fully-preserved fortress in Central Europe, with the Alps in the background.

Salzburg had a strong impact on Slovenia, with the legendary Salzburg Summer Festival in fact a template for the creators of the Ljubljana Summer Festival. The Salzburg Festival is linked with the city’s favourite son Salzburg, Mozart. His image is to be found virtually everywhere. Mozart’s birth house is one of the most visited tourist attractions of the city and it is amazing how a global brand was created from Mozart. However, the city offers much more than just Mozart and “Mozartkugeln”, even for the most demanding tourists, among which we ordinarily include congress guests.

Did you know, that the world’s largest ice cave is located in Salzburg? The so called “Eisriesenwelt” is located only half an hour by car from the city of Salzburg. In total, the ice cave has a length of 30 miles. A tour through the ice cave takes 1 1/4 hours and is a highlight for every business and leisure tourist coming to Salzburg.

A diverse city
Salzburg is a smaller city with about 150,000 inhabitants, but for the Austrian meetings industry it is extremely important. One of the most important cultural capitals of Europe, the UNESCO cultural heritage of the historic city centre Altstadt and an excellent congress offer attracts international event organisers. The choice of attractions in the city is really diverse, from a number of museums and galleries to baroque buildings, palaces, fortresses and parks. Although it is not the largest city in Austria, a lot of time is required to see all the attractions.

Salzburg is easily accessible
Most of the old town is accessible on foot or by excellent public transport. Salzburg Central Station, which is the centre of an important European rail hub, will be renovated this year. Every day, the station handles 500 trains with more than 25,000 passengers. Simple access by rail is part of the city’s strategy of green tourism and sustainable development.

Orderly and clean environment
You are unlikely to come across litter in Salzburg. According to the quality of life, Salzburg is at the top of the rankings. The city has several world-renowned institutes and educational institutions which provide excellent teaching and facilities. Among them are the famous Mozarteum University, Salzburg University of Applied Sciences, University of Education Salzburg, Paracelsus Private Medical University and Paris Lodron University. In addition to the 22,500 students, the developed scientific research scene is massive capital for a congress destination.

Entrepreneurs are impressed by the quick access to nature, the combination of modern and traditional, regulated legislation and the positive entrepreneurial attitude. It is therefore not surprising that the city has successful global companies such as Red Bull, Porsche Holding, Palfinger, Atomic, Skidata and many others.

Salzburg is an Austrian tourist icon,
It offers a large number of activities, bars and attractions. Every year it attracts about 5.5 million tourists (Slovenia attracts about 3.5 million tourists). Within a radius of 50 km is over 70,000 hotel rooms, nearly 40,000 of them are in a category suitable for congress tourism. Interesting statistics show that for each Salzburg resident falls 45 tourist overnight stays. Especially interesting is the fact that the region has some of the finest restaurants and widely known chefs, belonging to the culinary champions’ league. The highly developed tourism industry also brings some higher prices, which is typical for such besieged tourist destinations.

Second best in Austria
The wider region of Salzburg is, according to the number of conferences, second place in Austria behind the capital Vienna. According to the statistics of ACB (Austrian Convention Bureau) in 2012 Austria hosted 2,007 congresses and events (547 scientific congresses or 17.3 % of all congresses in Austria). They had 354 national and 193 international congresses. 1244 events or 18.8% were corporate events, among which domestic companies dominate with 83.9%. They also held 216 smaller seminars.

Almost half of all conferences (914) took place in Salzburg. 327 or 15.3% were scientific congresses, 493 corporate events, which domestic companies dominated, with a smaller part (94) given over to smaller seminars. Salzburg was, according to statistics, visited by 109,733 congress guests, generating 256,960 overnight stays. This represents 10.3% of all overnight stays in 2012 (2,486,516). These results are +22.1% better than those of 2011.

A fast growing congress destination
According to preliminary data, the year 2013 was also a very successful one and in addition to Styria and Carinthia seals it as one of the fastest growing congress destinations in Austria. The heart of the congress offer is a high-tech conference centre – Salzburg Congress – which was opened in 2001 in the beautiful Mirabell park in the city centre. The flexible design, with 15 congress halls with capacities from 20 to 1,320 participants, has one of the best technical equipment offers in Europe. Participants are pampered with technological gadgets, including an interactive panoramic projection.

Congress facilities
Exhibition Center Salzburg has in recent years completed €34 million of investments in a new multifunctional hall, which offers 15,170m2 of space. This increased the capacity of the centre to up to 6,000 congress participants. The list of hotels with congress facilities is also very long, with the Radisson Blu Hotels & Conference centre and its 18 halls considered for biggest in Austria worth a special mention. It is difficult to list all of the special venues, but the spectacular Hohensalzburg city fortress is suitable for receptions and teambuilding programs. Another of the congress venues is the Mirabell Palace, which with its gardens and architecture is under UNESCO protection. The garden of the palace is suitable for the organisation of events and the wedding hall is especially popular.

Picturesque locations
The surroundings do not lack for picturesque locations, with the underground salt mines that gave the name to city just a step away, or the charming alpine towns where they have developed a whole range of incentive and teambuilding programs.

For lovers of high-octane revolutions, on the other hand, the Museum Hangar 1 will be the most suitable for their needs. In the Museum are Red Bull Formula 1 and the complete collection of Dieter Mateschitz.

Green Salzburg
The entire industry has for ten years been successfully connected by the Salzburg Convention Bureau, which works on the non-profit model of its older brother in Vienna. Salzburg also has great congress ambassadors and advocates of event organisers. The support of green meetings is particularly praiseworthy. 38 congressional providers in Salzburg have a green eco-label, awarded by the Ministry of the Environment. Three locations have a Green Meeting Certificate: Salzburg Congress, Congress Saalfelden and Kultur und Seminarzentrtum Schloss Goldegg.

Another advantage of Salzburg was revealed at this year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, with Salzburg having competed against Sochi and Pyeonchang in 2007. Salzburg’s candidacy was most likely lost due to the higher political interests of the International Olympic Committee. Otherwise, the benefits outlined in the nomination are still up to date for the congress organisers and, above all else, the sustainable approach that was planned and defended before the global popularity of green meetings.


Key advantage
If security and political stability are treated as givens, the key advantages of Salzburg are the compactness and manageable size of the city, the easy accessibility, the convention centre in the city centre and the technological sophistication of the destination. Salzburg is already in its essence and urban organisation one of the most sustainable world congress destinations. In addition they care a lot about your congress and welfare of participants. A friendly gesture for event organisers is the free concert which is prepared for international congress guests, and the already mentioned congress subsidies if you bring to the city at least 250 international participants as well as cheaper tickets for public transport. A small city by size, but a congress metropolis by its offer and approach to congress tourism.


For the first time, Salzburg saw more than 3000 events last year according to the Meeting Industry Report Austria.

Travel Charme Bergresort Werfenweng as a new member of the Salzburg Convention Bureau – can host up to 250 people for conferences and other events in the heart of the mountains.

Refurbishment of Exhibition hall 1 in Messezentrum Salzburg will improve and upgrade technical infrastructure and is estimated to cost € 12 Million.

Crowne Plaza Salzburg goes green – the hotel and conference center was awared with the green meeting certificate.

Hotel Gut Brandlhof opens Europe’s first carhouse with up to 700m² for presentations and much more.



5 – excellent meetings destination
4 – quality meetings destination
3 – reccommendable meetings destination
2 – average meetings destination
1 – so so

A. Natural and cultural factors: 4.63

The picturesque alpine landscape with Mozart, lakes, culture festivals and rich history creates an unmistakable experiential diversity and atmosphere that makes Salzburg one of the most famous tourist destinations of Europe.

B. General and transport infrastructure: 4.48

With its location in the heart of Europe, Salzburg has a great starting point in congress tourism, helped also because of the high quality of life. Excellent public infrastructure, idyllic nature, recreation and sports infrastructure is also unequalled. Probably one of the most friendly and regulated destinations in Central Europe, which possesses all the characteristics of a metropolis packed into an extremely attractive package.

C. Tourist infrastructure: 4.41

Although you will find Mozart on every step of your way and it seems that the clock stopped in the times of the famous composer, Salzburg is a very modern and cool tourist destination. It appears that Salzburg was formed and lives for tourism and it is especially necessary to highlight the extraordinary culinary scene.

D. Meetings infrastructure: 4.53

Two top-quality, modern and high tech congress centres – Messezentrum Salzburg for 6,000 participants and Congress Salzburg for 2.500 participants – are together with a top quality conference hotel infrastructure a foundation for congress destination. Marketing is successfully connected by the Salzburg Convention Bureau, which last year celebrated its 10th anniversary.

E. Subjective grade: 4.29

Austrian efficiency and organisation, peppered with the baroque charm of its city, is the formula for success in the field of medium-sized congresses up to 2,500 participants. A cosmopolitan mix of visitors and the local population is torn between tradition and the fast pace of the 21st century.

F. Marketing buzz: 4.25

The most musical city in the world certainly knows how to attract visitors – they have extensive experience around events with their traditional Summer festival, and they know how to translate this perfectly to the meetings industry floor. The complete support centre in Austria is self-evident and a well-organised convention bureau works like a Swiss clock. Cultural heritage and innovation also help with the marketing and, of course, location, location, location.

Natural and cultural factors:4.63
General and transport infrastructure:4.48
Tourist infrastructure:4.41
Meeting infrastructure:4.53
Subjective grade:4.29
Marketing Buzz:4.25
ICCA index:2.06
Numbeo quality of life Index:4.90
Global Peace Index:4.79


Up to 1000 participants can participate in the tabtour. They work together in small groups and each group gets a tablet with innovative features. It guides them through the city to the next sight. From there, the group has to fulfill tasks like e.g. taking pictures or answering questions (historical and cultural questions about the city or knowledge questions about a previously held lecture). The last stop could be a dinner restaurant. The group with the highest score receives a prize. The tabtour is as flexible as can be, as it is not linked to a time, place or content.


It is difficult to compare Salzburg with it much larger brother Vienna, yet it offers all the characteristics of a congress destination and a cosmopolitan mix of visitors. For current logistics and transport restrictions of the city medium sized congresses with up to 2,500 participants are best suited. In this area they will offer you a superior product wrapped in superior packaging. Unlike the congress sister Ljubljana, which shares a lot in common, Salzburg has no problems with branding and visibility. Otherwise, location, location, location and once again location is considered a crucial reason for choosing Salzburg for your event.


IKARUS REASTAURANT – It is located in Hangar-7 in Salzburg, every month it hosts the best chefs in the world who present their favourite masterpieces in cooperation with the owner of the restaurant, Eckart Witzigmann, and chef Martin Klein. April’s chef was Slovene Ana Roš from restaurant Hiša Franko in Kobarid. This is one of the best world-class culinary stories in the world, if not the best in line with its concept.


Tourismus Salzburg GmbH
5020 Salzburg

Elisabeth Pfoess
T: 0043 662 88987271


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