Reader Question: Is It Worth Traveling to Austria This Winter?

After years of pandemic restrictions, closures and travel rules due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2022/23 winter season seemed closer to what people were used to before 2020. .

But Russia’s war in Ukraine has contributed to rising inflation and the energy crisis in the eurozone, plus the fact that new cases of Covid-19 continue to rise put a major question mark on Austria’s winter season. was given.

Despite this situation, is it worth traveling to Austria this winter? Will it cover the cost of living in the country? Is there heating for everyone?

Inflation and energy crisis in Austria

Heating and electricity prices are rising in Austria, but the federal and state governments are looking for ways to slow the rise or mitigate its impact.

In June, €6 billion package to combat rising cost of living The impact on residents has been announced, as reported by The Local. This included increased family benefits, tax cuts and temporary benefit payments. The 500 Euro Clima Bonus is given to (almost) everyone living in the Alpine country..

That helped mitigate the effects of inflation, but it didn’t stop the quitters’ prices. Austria announced inflation had hit a 70-year high of 10.5%.Again, domestic energy is the main price driver, followed by transportation and food (grocery and restaurant) fuel costs.

Additionally, restaurant and hotel prices have increased by 10.5% over the past year.

Read also: What are the benefits of Austria’s new electricity tariff brake?

Prices aren’t expected to drop significantly any time soon, so be prepared for more expensive winter holidays, especially if you’re skiing. Ski resort prices and ski pass prices are already up to 20% higher than last year..

However, as reported by The Local, higher prices do not mean Austria is at high risk for its supply. The Alpine country is well-equipped for electricity supply and most of its electricity comes from hydro or wind farms.

read more: Reader Question: What are the chances of a power outage in Austria this winter?

Overall, around 80% of Austria’s electricity comes from renewable sources and the country has a high proportion of ‘security supply’.

Austria was also one of the first countries to introduce electricity tariff limits, subsidizing part of the electricity tariff. Korea’s only second hometown.

what about the heating

Heating is considered a more sensitive situation. The war in Ukraine and Europe’s dependence on Russian gas has made many on the continent, including Austria, concerned about energy and power supplies, especially in the coming winter.

Since deciding to reduce its dependence on gas, Russia has been looking for other partners and other storage possibilities. In early October, the climate ministry Make sure the storage tank is 80% fullachieved the winter target ahead of schedule.

“Today we can say that we are well prepared. Our storage facility is 80% full and still full.”

According to the federal government, there are no restrictions on home heating and there are no plans to impose a cap on how many homes can be heated this winter.

Read also: “Mission 11”: Austrian government releases tips to save energy and fuel

However, the climate ministry has launched a voluntary campaign to save energy. This included a recommendation to lower heating temperatures by 2 degrees Celsius during winter.

Federal and municipal buildings and state-owned enterprises have also announced their own measures. For example, in Vienna, public indoor pools he heats only up to 27 degrees, while the temperature in public transport he he is lowered by 2 degrees.

Private companies can also take their own energy-saving measures. Therefore, if you plan to use the hotel’s spa facilities, you can ask if they have such measures in place.

Most Christmas lights are lit, but only for a short period each day (Photo by Anton upon unsplash)

Some ski operators have already cited solutions such as turning off lift seat heaters, reducing station lighting, and canceling (or reducing operations) night skiing.

Cable car speeds may be slowed from midday to afternoon, and operators plan to use the ice machines more efficiently.

Read also: What to expect from the Austrian ski season this winter

What about Christmas markets?

Austria is famous for its beautiful Christmas markets, where the lights and decorations are the highlight.

Cities impose energy measures that consist of two main things. Reduced hours of lighting at night and reduced (or cut) outdoor electric heaters.

In Vienna, Christmas illuminations have already been set up in the shopping streets in the first district. However, it turns off at 10pm (instead of midnight) to save energy. In addition, the city has changed its decorations since his decade, so that almost all lighting is now energy-saving LEDs, according to state information. Trade Association WKOnegotiate decorations with the city.

Read also: 9 Festive Foods and Drinks You Can’t Miss at Christmas in Austria

again, Fewer Christmas lights in other parts of the cityincluding Ringstrasse, the famous boulevard that surrounds the heart of the Austrian capital.

Also, the lights of the Christmas market on the square in front of City Hall will only be turned on at night, not at dusk as before, said city spokeswoman Roberta Kraft.

The bottom line is…

Things get more expensive, but no one feels cold at home or in hotels or restaurants.

Christmas wasn’t canceled either. Even if the lighting is low in some places, it shines brightly (for a short time) in the most traditional areas of town.

Regarding the pandemic, Vienna has made FFP2 masks mandatory on public transport, but the federal government said there was no reason to impose further measures or restrictions any time soon. But of course, all this depends on major unforeseen events and no new and dangerous Covid-19 variants of his not being discovered. Reader Question: Is It Worth Traveling to Austria This Winter?

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