Symposium "Architecture Attracts Visitors"


The research paper „Architecture Attracts Visitors“ examines the correlation between architecture and profitability in the tourism industry. The Federal Ministry of Economics and Labour (Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Arbeit), Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (Wirtschaftskammer Österreich) and the Tourism Institution for the Federal State of Vorarlberg initiated the research paper. platou – planning and architecture in tourism developed the concepts and undertook the research for the paper. The results were presented during a congress in Bregenz.

For the empiric part of the study, platou surveyed 300 pioneers in tourism architecture across all nine Austrian federal states. 49 of these were selected and analyzed in detail.

Can contemporary architecture be profitable?

Yes, they are highly profitable. DI Bibiane Hromas revealed in the paper that in 88% of the cases the investment in contemporary architecture has proven to be profitable as stated by the managers and owners of tourism institutions. More than half of the surveyed managers (51%) stated that their businesses’ profitability lay above the industry average. Only 7% of the businesses presented figures that were below the industry average.

Does architecture attract new visitors?

Our research confirmed the thesis that architecture attracts new visitors. Contemporary architecture is a means of acquiring new visitor target groups. Besides that, it is also an important marketing criterion. Contemporary architecture can be used to actively establish an identity, which in turn facilitates PR and communication activities. 97% of the surveyed businesses affirmed that the contemporary architecture serves them as a means of differentiating the business from competitors. 95% believed to be more appealing to new visitor cohorts.

Mag. Christian SchĂĽtzinger, managing director of Vorarlberg Tourismus confimed that new architectural concepts are not only valuable to individual businesses for establishing a good image, but they may also revive a whole region by attracting more guests. Vorarlberg is the smallest, however most innovative federal Austrian state in the field of tourism architecture; it can be seen as a pioneer that has successfully integrated tourism architecture it into its marketing mix.

Should tourism experts involve in architectural planning?

DI DDr. Nikolaus Thaller (platou, ATP, Planungsbüro-GmbH) lectured about the architectural planning processes of tourism projects. It is essential for tourism planners to take time to reflect on their needs and wishes for a specific project in order to save time and costs during the planning process. It is best for tourism experts to stick to the field of tourism and to delegate planning processes to qualified and experienced architects. However, these should be carefully chosen to ensure that the architect respects the initiator’s visions for the project.

Is tourism architecture a matter of taste?

Prof. Dr. Felizitas Romeiß-Stracke (Plattform für Tourismusarchitektur, Technical University of Munich) discussed this question during her speech. Changing life styles in Western societies led to a movement from fun societies to societies of bon vivants. “Good taste” has become a determining factor in tourism. Hotel and destination managers need to be aware of these changes in society and need to respond to these and adapt their tourism and hospitality concepts in order to focus on specific visitor cohorts and to attract these by adequate marketing campaigns.

Is architecture significant for the brand and communication processes?

Mag. Brigitte Weiss (markenbüro weiss, Vienna) discussed contemporary architecture’s significance for the brand and communciation processes. As an expert in the fields of branding and communications, Brigitte Weiss concluded that architecture is the most visible and sustainable; however, also the most costly form of a brand. Well designed brand architecture provides a distinctive character to the tourism product, it creates an impression and individuality. As a tangible part of a business’s corporate identity, architecture embodies the company’s visions, values, culture and competencies. It is the fundamental instrument to communicate the product, it draws attention to the product and it may stimulate discussions within media.


platou – planning and architecture in tourism
DI Bibiane Hromas
T +43 (0) 699 / 19 23 96 09
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Vorarlberg Tourismus
Kerstin Mangard and Thorsten Bayer (PR)
T +43 (0) 5574 / 425 25-0

Programm des Symposiums Architektur macht Gäste (PDF 1,2 MB)

To the hosts of the congress:
Thank you for enabling the interesting discourses between architects and tourism experts!

Mag. Christian SchĂĽtzinger

Mag. arch. Marina Hämmerle

DI Bibiane Hromas



Last Updated ( Friday, 16 October 2009 )
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