The number of visitors to Austria staying overnight in 2014 has decreased 785,000, or 0.6 percent, to 131.9 million despite a record number of visitors overall, according to preliminary data released by Statistics Austria on Wednesday.
Noticeably fewer overnight stays were recorded for German visitors, declining 2.6 percent to 49.5 million, and Dutch visitors with 1.4 percent fewer for a total of 9 million. Percentage-wise, Russian visitors staying overnight declined the most with 7.9 percent down to 1.8 million.
Pluses were recorded for visitors from Switzerland and Liechtenstein (up 1.4 percent to 4.6 million overnight stays), and Britain (0.6 to 3.4 million). The length of overall stays also increased for visitors from the Czech Republic (3.1 percent longer), Poland (7 percent longer) and the U.S.(9 percent longer).
The overall drop occurred despite a 1.9-percent increase in visitors for the year to a record of 37.6 million.
In response to the figures, Vice Chancellor and Minister of Economy Reinhold Mitterlehner, whose portfolio includes tourism, said it is a "solid result" in light of difficult global circumstances such as the economic situation and the conflict in Easten Ukraine.
The record visitor numbers were nevertheless an indicator of success, and showed the tourism industry is still a pillar of the Austrian economy, said the minister.