Austrian Tourist Office Hosts First Ever Exquisitely Austrian Showcase

Journalist and writer Alan Behr learns more about the Hotel Sacher's superb services while sipping some Austrian coffee // Photo by the Austrian Tourist Office/David Plakke

On November 15 the Austrian Tourist Office held its first ever “Exquisitely Austrian Showcase” in New York to inform guests of the variety of new, unique travel experiences Austria has available to travelers.

Held on the 21st floor of the Chelsea Arts Towers, the showcase welcomed nearly 100 travel industry insiders and professionals to get first-hand experiences of 15 new Austrian destinations, cultural institutions, hotels, business partners and Austrian Airlines. The event hosted exhibitors ranging from family run luxury boutique hotels to organic farm-to-table culinary experiences, handmade designer products and more, all designed to enlighten guests to what they could be experiencing in Austria.

Arriving guests were “flown” to the hotel’s 21st floor venue by an Austrian Airlines flight attendant before being welcomed with a glass of Schlumberger sparkling wine and a VIP photo wall prior to entering the staged Austrian wonderland. Guest chatted with a bellboy from the Hotel Sacher, tasted Austrian wine, tried on Muehlbauer Austrian hats, and more.

A virtual reality journey took attendees of the event through Vienna and through the hay in the mountains of Vorarlberg before rolling Mozartkugeln – a chocolate treat – by hand in Salzburg. Back at the event, Kurt Gutenbrunner, a New York resident celebrity chef, provided some of Austria’s greatest culinary treats and exports.

Entertainment for the event was provided by a range of young New York artists, including opera singers to dancers, who performed a modern dance interpretation of the Danube Waltz.

"'Exquisitely Austrian' is not just the title of our communications campaign, it is an affirmation of our travel values,” said Michael Gigl, director of the Austrian Tourist Office USA and Australia. “In this, our first luxury showcase, we were striving to live up to the high quality of the travel experience already in the form of presentation.”

The Austrian Tourist Office reached beyond its east coast demographic with two smaller events in Austin, Texas and Miami, Florida. All events were held prior to the start of what is expected to be a strong winter season for Austria, which will include winter sports innovations, cultural events both on and off piste, Christmas markets and more.