Forest & tourism

Marking a hiking trail in the forest
Photo: BML / Hans Kiessling

Close cooperation with the touristic stakeholders and joint development of high-quality offers for customers constitute the objective of “Destination Wald“ (Destination Forest).

Austria’s forests are of great importance to tourism: Diverse landscapes, the infrastructure of forests and numerous cultural objects offer attractions for most different user groups. Forest holdings and their environs have therefore diverse potentials for the development and provision of tourism offers. To valorise forests successfully for tourism requires close cooperation between the leisure and tourism industry and forest managers.

Value-adding potentials of tourism in Austria’s forests

The current "Destination Forest" events aim to explore the value-adding potential around forests and to develop it in a project-oriented manner.

The Directorate-General of Forestry of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Regions and Water Management predecessor ministry, together with the Institute of landscape development, recreation and nature conservation planning at the Vienna University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, initiated “Destination Wald“ (Destination Forest) as a communication platform between forestry and the tourism industry.

In the steering group, the agency “Österreich Werbung“, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Land & Forst Betriebe Österreich, “Urlaub am Bauernhof“ and, among others, the relevant hosts on the spot, provide touristic and forestry know how.

As starting event, the meeting “Destination Wald - Touristische Aktivitäten im forstlichen Umfeld" was, very successfully and with great echo from the media, held at the Vienna University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in 2007.

Forests and Tourism are important Partners

This is why the joint platform was first established at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Regions and Water Management, which provides important impulses for both forestry and tourism. At three practice-oriented workshops always two core topics were extensively dealt with at an interval of one year. In this way the establishment of innovative and model offers for customers has been promoted. The owners of forests and forest holdings are called upon to develop and implement them actively in their areas.

The main objective of the event series is to jointly identify the opportunities that comply with sustainable forest management and to offer forest holdings and/or forest managers as well as suppliers of tourism products practical assistance in the development of tourism products (“from the idea to implementation“).


Workshop 2008:   Potentials + Partnerships
Workshop 2009:   Sustainability + Quality assurance
Workshop 2010:   Product development + Marketing

At the 2nd workshop, held on 21 and 22 October 2009, for example, the issues “Sustainability“ and “Quality assurance“ were dealt with intensively at the Vienna Forest biosphere park. These highly significant and sensitive areas are particularly important in a general context of the series. The Ministry of Economic Affairs, Österreich Werbung and forest managers active in tourism contributed their theoretical and practical knowhow.

The around 60 participants developed ideas and framework conditions for new, sustainable and high-quality tourism products in the environment of forest managers - ranging from the complex large project, like the Dachstein world heritage, to practical tips for contract design in projects of a manageable size.

In 2010, “Destination WALD“ continued with the core topics of product development and marketing. For details, see: Destination Wald

You are invited to contribute actively to this dynamic process - for the benefit of your own holding, the region, your working environment!