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What’s New in the Austrian Tirol for Ski 2013-14

September 7, 2013 Ski No Comments Email Email

As the 2013-14 ski season approaches, it’s time to unveil the latest news from across the Austrian Tirol region, including new hotels, flights, mountain restaurants, improvements to ski lift infrastructure and tour operator additions. 

8401cbaff578d3df_400x400ar Last season, the Tirol region achieved some of the best results to date, with almost 5.4 million arrivals (+2.1%) during 2012-13. In winter the UK market is the third most important for tourism in Tirol after Germany and the Netherlands. Last season the number of arrivals from the UK increased by 5%, the highest increase observed within the top 10 markets, with the exception of Russia (+8%). The resorts, which enjoyed the highest overall increase in arrivals, included Seefeld (+25.7%), Alpbach (+23.3%) and Wildschönau (+17%), as a result of the new Ski Jewel combined area. St Anton remains the most popular resort for UK visitors, followed by Obergurgl/Soelden, Mayrhofen, Söll and Kitzbühel. The most marked increase in types of accommodation, included a 5.6% increase in private apartments, as well as 4/5* hotels enjoying the largest share in accommodation and increase in overnight stays.

babe5e95a63a7307_400x400arMain news features:

  • Located at the top of the Gaislachkogel at 3048m, the new innovative design restaurant will open in Sölden at the start of the season. With impressive modern architecture, the glass exterior projects a transparent feeling making visitors feel up close and personal with the spectacular Ӧtztal’s mountain scenery. The technical masterpiece goes one step further, as the roof terrace is connected to the Gaislachkogel mountain peak via a suspension bridge. The stylish high-end restaurant is a gourmet experience, taking ‘Alpine Cuisine’ to new heights at 3048m. A special highlight will be the new signature wine ‘Pino3000’, a cross-border wine project bringing three top wine growers their best Pinot Noir from Austria, South Tyrol and Germany to mature the wine in a special wine cellar at the Gaislachkogel. For more information visit www.soelden.com.
  • Skiing starts at home – the Tirol Tourist Board has partnered with Snowsports England on their national GO SKI GO BOARD campaign as the exclusive destination of choice. The aim is to increase participation in winter sports in England and allow more people to try it at an affordable price in one of the indoor or outdoor snow facilities. Whether you are trying it for the first time, fancy a few lessons before going on holiday, looking to improve your skills or simply want to enjoy the social aspect then there is a programme for you. The GO SKI GO BOARD programme includes 6 hours of instruction or slope time ideally over 6 weeks, at one of over 30 facilities across the country. The cost of the course is an all-inclusive price with no added extras for equipment, clothing, lift pass or instruction.

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GO SKI GO BOARD will be officially launched this week on Thursday 5thSeptember at Hemel Snow Centre.

  • This season the Zillertal region leads the way with lift expansions, accommodation upgrades and new mountain huts and restaurants. The Ski Optimal Hochzillertal/Kaltenbach ski area, with access to 88km of pistes, will welcome two new chairlifts, the new 8-seater heated chairlift, the Kristall-Express and the heated 6-seater chairlift Mizun, replacing the old T-bar. Regarded as one of the best mountain huts in the Alps, the luxurious Kristallhütte will be enhanced by four new two-storey Panorama suites, with private spa and open views of the Zillertal Alps. In Hochfügen, a new alpine hut called ‘Holzalm’ will open, serving specialities from the Tirol and Zillertal region.   At the other end of the Zillertal, in the region of Tux-Finkenberg, there will be a complete €13 million transformation by Hintertux Glacier lift company of the Tuxer Fernerhaus restaurant. This will include a table service restaurant, sun terrace and stairs will be replaced by escalators bringing an end to the ungainly task of climbing up and down of stairs in ski boots! In addition the old Spannagelhaus will be transformed into an inviting table service restaurant with inimitable mountain hut charm, with rustic lounges, open fireplace and warm wood tones with natural stone. The existing Lämmerbichl double chair lift will be replaced by a highly sophisticated 6 seater chairlift, with full weather protection hoods and heated seats.
  • The resort of Ischgl in the Paznaun Valley, will open up a new ski area on the Piz Val Gronda, with the construction of a new aerial cable car, the Piz Val Gronda E5. Particular attention has been paid to protecting the landscape and ecosystem during the full planning and construction process. From the valley station at 2,295m to the top mountain station at 2,811m, there are only two support sites required and no cable trench is needed along the route. The new Piz Val Gronda E5 will create a new intermediate 3km ski piste no.42, provide improvements to the ski piste no.41, as well as opening up further freeride terrain.  For more information visit www.ischgl.com.
  • New for 2013-14, Kitzbühel tourist office have introduced new Freeride weeks in January, which will include free testing of new freeride skis, as well as film screenings and a special backcountry guiding programme. The package costs €225 (£195) per person and includes 3 days guiding with some of Kitzbühel’s best instructors (Mon-Wed, Fri-Sun).

New Hotels:

  • Opening in November 2013, the Fairhotel Hochfilzen (www.fairhotel-hochfilzen.com) in the Pillersee Valley will become Tirol’s first ‘passive energy’ hotel. Following an environmental philosophy, the hotel minimises energy losses and maximises energy gains, through innovative heating systems. Offering functional interior design at its best the hotel is devoted to offering guests comfort, using Tempur mattresses, and wellbeing with its organic farm-fresh breakfasts. Hochfilzen and its surroundings offer a vast network of cross-country trails and the hotel provides equipment and lessons through its resident Nordic Academy. The nearby ski resorts of Fieberbrunn, Pillersee and Leogang are all easily accessible using the free ski bus. Prices start from €49 per person per night on B&B.
  • Situated directly on the slopes of the Axamer Lizum, Hotel Lizum 1600 (www.lizum1600.at) will open this season and is part of a complex being built as a new training centre for ski instructors. Inghams has introduced the resort and hotel for 2013-14, with prices starting from £739 per person for 7 nights on half board, including flights and transfers.
  • The brand-new lifestyle Hotel Adlers (www.deradler.com) in Innsbruck opened in June. Connecting the city and mountains with breathtaking views, edgy design and outstanding hospitality, Innsbruck’s tallest hotel has an amazing roof-top terrace and impressive restaurant. Winter prices start from €135 per room, per night on room only in a Panorama Classic.

New flights:

  • For winter 2013-14, Jet2.com will introduce a new weekly Belfast International to Salzburg flight, giving access to resorts in the east of Tirol. The route starts on Saturday 21st December, with prices starting from £42 one-way, including taxes.

Tour Operator News:

  • Tailor-made ski specialist, Ski Safari (01273 224060, www.skisafari.com), has launched Austria to its programme for the first time. Innsbruck, Soelden, Obergurgl/Hochgurgl, Kitzbühel, St Anton and Galtür make up its offering in the Austrian Tirol.
  • Cosmos (0871 902 5838, www.cosmos.co.uk) has entered the ski market for the first time with a new ski and snowboard programme, utilising the ski routes launched last winter by sister company Monarch airlines. Cosmos will feature 10 resorts in the Austrian Tirol, using the Monarch flights to Innsbruck, Munich and Friedrichshafen.
  • Brand new luxury ski specialists snow-wise (020 3397 8450, www.snow-wise.com) will offer flexible stays in top Tirolean resorts, including St Anton, Sölden, Obergurgl and Kitzbühel. They are the only UK tour operator to feature Hintertux with “guaranteed snow and guaranteed child care” at the highly acclaimed family hotel Hintertuxerhof. Other unique offerings include the luxury “design” Hotel Zhero in Kappl, not far from world famous Ischgl.
  • Zenith Holidays (020 3137 7678, www.zenithholidays.co.uk) introduced the resorts of Ischgl and Galtür at the end of last season and for 2013-14 will become the only UK operator to feature the family-friendly resort of Kappl, in the Paznaun Valley.
  • Following last year’s success with the stylish Hotel Montjola in St Anton, specialist ski company VIP SKI (0844 557 3119; www.vip-chalets.com) will add a further two chalets to its portfolio, making a St Anton a key resort for VIP SKI this coming season. With a swift ski down to the Nassrein ski lift, the Haus Hochkar and Haus Gamskar both enjoy a prime slope side location. Prices for the season start from £969 per person based on two sharing, including return flights from London Gatwick, transfers and catered chalet board
  • Crystal Ski (0871 231 2256; www.crystalski.co.uk) has introduced a limited number of FREE first-time ski or board packages, which are available in Seefeld and St Johann, during selected weeks in January and March. The package includes tuition, equipment hire, lift pass for the week. Book by 15 November.
  • Inghams (01483 371100, www.inghams.co.uk) has introduced the resorts of Axams and Götzens, near Innsbruck, the resort of Kirchberg, in the heart of the Kitzbühler Alps and have added Going in the Austria’s largest ski area, the SkiWelt. In addition, Inghams will offer a new flight route from Southampton to Innsbruck for winter 2013-14.

For more information on the Tirol region www.visittirol.co.uk or keep updated at www.facebook.com/visittirol

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