Vienna at the heart of 'new Europe' for business travel
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Vienna has long been an important financial center and widely considered to be one of the most cosmopolitan and progressive cities in Europe. The Austrian capital is also becoming a hotbed of activity in the business travel sector, as increasing numbers of organizations flock to this historic city to capitalize on the country's strategic position in the European financial markets and its remarkably resilient economy, reports Buying Business Travel.
Of MICE and men
In terms of business travel, Vienna is experiencing significant growth in the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions, or MICE, spaces. According to data from the International Congress and Convention Association, Vienna retained its position as the leading destination for meetings and conferences in the world for the eighth consecutive year, having held 195 events in 2012, an increase from the 181 conferences held in 2011. Many experts agree that the city's proximity to emerging European markets and the excellent range of facilities have contributed to Vienna's popularity as a business travel destination.
"It's the gateway to Eastern Europe," May Sollinger-Soucek, marketing manager for the Vienna Convention Bureau in the U.K. and Ireland, told the news source. "It lies in the center of the new Europe – the center of a market of more than 450 million people. Environmentally, Vienna is a model city meeting all the relevant criteria – water management, waste disposal, clean air management… Working with Viennese suppliers, meetings can be certified as 'green meetings.'"
Sollinger-Soucek's sentiments have been proven by several key developments in Vienna's economy. According to Green Biz, global telecommunications giant Siemens is creating a "green city" research facility in Vienna. The laboratory will be used to research new ways of developing urban infrastructure such as intelligent solutions to traffic management and the use of environmentally friendly construction techniques.
Siemens' green city project will be constructed at a former airfield in the northeast part of the city, and will feature research facilities as well as corporate apartments, training areas, office complexes and lab spaces. Ultimately, when the city is completed in 2030, it will house more than 20,000 residents and create an equal number of new jobs.
The German multinational is just one player in the sustainable technologies field. Between heightened interest in Vienna as a business travel destination and the increased focus on environmentally friendly urban design, the future looks bright for the Viennese economy.