3. Cultural and creative sectors
Last update: October, 2019
For several years, the value of ‘cultural heritage’ has been understood in a broader concept, including the preservation of historical monuments and the protection of cultural heritage. The Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society (Faro 2005) of the Council of Europe is based upon this broader definition. The Faro Convention was signed and ratified by Austria and implemented in 2015. The convention extends the concept of culture in relation to other conventions, underlines the responsibility of each state for its cultural heritage, emphasises the close connection between cultural heritage and sustainable development and stresses the value of cultural heritage for society and people. In 2016, the österreichische kulturdokumentation was assigned to review and evaluate the status quo in Austria. The report makes proposals for projects and measures to take forward the implementation of the conventions' objectives.
Since then, Austria has been asked to take measures; for example, a wide range of activities and events has been launched during the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018. The European Union initiative was intended to contribute to raising awareness of cultural heritage, promoting the enhancement of cultural heritage and strengthening cooperation with neighbouring countries. An inter-ministerial working group was set up at the Federal Chancellery, involving the various federal ministries, representatives of the federal states, of the Federal Monuments Office and of civil society, in order to implement EYCH2018 in Austria. In May 2018, the Federal Chancellery initiated the conference Nicht in Stein gemeißelt. Kulturelles Erbe neu denken im Europäischen Kulturerbejahr 2018 [“Not Carved in Stone: Rethinking Cultural Heritage in the 2018 European Cultural Heritage Year”]. The highlight of the theme year was the #EuropeForCulture final conference, also held in Vienna in December 2018 as part of the Austrian EU Presidency, which was attended by 500 participants. It offered political decision-makers from all over Europe as well as representatives from civil society and others the opportunity to exchange views on developments and to continue work on the cultural heritage year. During the conference, the European Commission presented its planned activities to make the ideas of the European Heritage Year effective beyond 2018 and to facilitate participation, sustainability, the protection of cultural assets, innovation and global partnerships (European Framework for Action on Cultural Heritage).
Monument protection with the key tasks of protection, care, research, and communication, is directly administered by the National Heritage Agency (Bundesdenkmalamt), which has decentralised branch offices (Landeskonservatorate) in each Bundesland. The Federal Monuments Office falls under the jurisdiction of the Federal Chancellery. Division II/4 for the Protection of Monuments and Restitution of Art also deals with matters of architectural and archaeological heritage, cultural landscapes, provenance research and the restitution of looted art. The funding departments of the Federal Chancellery also support activities in the field of cultural heritage or the mediation of cultural heritage, but there are no specific programmes. At the national level, the digitisation of cultural heritage is an important issue in which, for example, federal museums and other national institutions and organisations are involved. The Kulturpool, as an overview and search portal for Austria’s digital cultural heritage, offers central access to digitised Austrian cultural heritage resources.
Some of the country's most important cultural institutions in the heritage field are: the federal museums, the Austrian National Library, the Austrian Phonotheque (sound archives), the Vienna Court Orchestra, the Federal Office of Historic Monuments, the Austrian Film Archive and the Austrian Film Museum. Each of these institutions has been undergoing a process of change with regard to their organisational, juridical and economic structures. The most crucial reform has been the decision to grant full legal status to the federal museums and transform them into scientific institutions under public law – an important step towards more autonomy.
All these institutions are committed to the promotion of the rich cultural heritage in the 21st-century and there are numerous educational programmes, especially for the younger generation. The government has awarded the Austrian Museum Prize annually (since 1988), with the aim of encouraging Austrian museums of different legal entities to design their content, presentation and communication in an appealing and contemporary way.
With the ratification of the UNESCO 2003 Agreement on the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, Austria has committed itself to the safeguarding of the country's intangible cultural heritage. The national agency for intangible cultural heritage, established within the Austrian UNESCO Commission in 2006, is entrusted with the implementation of the agreement and the drawing up of a national directory. Since 2010, there have been more than 80 entries in the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Austria, including e.g. the Falconry, Romany (the language of the Burgenland Roma) and the Vienna coffee-house culture.
Cultural heritage matters are also dealt with by the provinces and municipalities in which corresponding institutions and facilities are supported.
Last update: October, 2019
Austria has a comprehensive network of libraries: 1,062 municipalities have a library. Hence libraries play a key role in the provision of literature and culture. Moreover, the Public Library Concept The Library of the Future – The Future of Libraries demonstrates that libraries are today seen as centres of information and education with a social integrative function.
The public libraries are run by towns and municipalities, organisations and the Church. Three supraregional associations in which the public libraries are organised are supported as part of the Federal Chancellery’s library support: Austrian Libraries Association (BVÖ), the Library Service of the Austrian Federation of Trade Unions (ÖGB) and the Austrian Library Network. The Federal Chancellery supports the modernisation of public libraries, the training and further education of staff, the expansion of the stock of media and the further development of public libraries as places of communication of knowledge, art and culture, as reading and media competence centres and as places of social analysis and debate.
The BVÖ represents the interests of more than 2 600 members and provides service, advice and information, e.g. financial support, the promotion of literature and reading, publications and cost-free online content. BVÖ carries out the operative tasks of the Advisory Council on Education and Training. The organisation (financed by the Federal Chancellery) is responsible for professional training for librarians working at public libraries and for the promotion of public libraries.
In addition, the BVÖ’s library map of Austria offers an inventory of the public library system with regard to the degree of supply with public libraries and also with regard to their efficiency in achieving the Austrian target standards at national, provincial and district level. This map is the starting point for the medium- and long-term further development of public libraries in Austria.
Austria’s archives preserve an essential part of the country’s cultural heritage. One focus of recent years has been digitisation, for example through projects by the Austrian National Library and the Austrian State Archives as well as the Austrian Media Library. The ArchivNet platform is open to all Austrian archives and provides networked, comprehensive access to their holdings. The above-mentioned cultural pool also offers central access to digital Austrian cultural heritage resources, with which museums, libraries and archives can be searched and researched in detail.
Last update: October, 2019
The performing arts are a focal point of cultural life in Austria. The country’s prestige theatres, opera houses and orchestras are international flagships, while the other theatres and the numerous groups from the independent scene in cities and regions develop diverse formats of the highest quality. Festivals are also an important part of this category.
Drama in Austria takes place on the stages of large, established theatres with permanent ensembles on the one hand and as part of a constantly growing independent scene on the other. Both the state and the provinces and municipalities are committed to the promotion of the performing arts. At the federal level, for example, annual expenditure on the performing arts is the highest in comparison with the other sectors (LIKUS) (see chapter 7.1).
The state is the owner of the Bundestheater-Holding GmbH, which with its four subsidiaries forms the largest theatre group in the world, with 989 artists and 1 066 technical staff as well as seven venues and the opera school, ballet academy and choir academy of the Vienna State Opera.
In addition to the financing of the federal theatres, the Federal Chancellery’s annual funding programme supports: theatres that are based in Austria and have continuous performances in the country; independent groups in the fields of dance, theatre and performance; Austrian orchestras and music ensembles; concert organisers; and festivals. It also subsidises production and project costs, investment costs, travel and tour costs, and grants scholarships and awards various prizes.
The Freie Theater interest group represents the interests of the freelance performing arts in Austria. Together with organisations and national representatives of the scene from Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Hungary, it founded the European Association of Independent Performing Arts (EAIPA) in Vienna in 2018. The EAIPA pursues the goal of improving the structural, social, legal, financial, political, organisational, artistic and cultural conditions of performing artists, groups of artists, independent theatres and other artistic enterprises, as well as of all professional groups and infrastructures associated with the sector, throughout Europe. To launch its activities, it has published the study Introduction to the Independent Performing Arts in Europe: Eight European Performing Arts Structures at a Glance.
The basis for the support of independent performing arts in Vienna is the 2004 Vienna Theatre Reform, which aims to promote artistic quality in a multi-stage, transparent funding model. To this end, several funding categories with different time limits have been established, ranging between short-term funding of individual projects and longer-term funding for projects of up to four years. Evaluation and assessment are carried out by expert juries.
Last update: October, 2019
In Austria, the fine arts comprise fine art, architecture, design, fashion and photography. The promotion of contemporary art has been an increasingly important focus for about ten to fifteen years and has been explicitly anchored in the latest government programmes. Particular attention is paid to promoting the internationalisation and mobility of Austrian artists. The government promotes the creative work of artists as well as its processing, presentation and placement through associations and institutions in the fields of fine arts, architecture, design, fashion and photography. The aim is both to secure what is tried and tested and to establish new impulses and make new developments possible.
Current federal grants include a partial financing of annual programmes of Austrian associations and artist groups that have a continuous exhibition programme, the support of individuals and associations for exhibitions, projects at home and abroad, publications and grants for travel and transport costs. In addition, there are scholarships for artists to prepare, conceptualise or realise artistic projects at home and abroad in the form of state scholarships, start-up scholarships, foreign studio scholarships or domestic studios. Indirect support is provided through gallery support in the form of museum purchases and foreign trade-fair support, purchases and prizes as well as the special mentoring programme for women (see chapter 7.2.1). The IG Bildende Kunst interest group represents the interests of visual artists in Austria, initiates debates on cultural policy, intervenes in decision-making processes that affect the work and lives of visual artists. It offers advice and “survival training” for women artists with regard to social security, tax, residence and employment, copyright and exploitation, fees etc. It advocates the freedom of art and the importance of art for society and offers networking and support for artist-in-residencies and exhibitions.
Last update: October, 2019
In Austria, the sector of the creative industries includes ten subsectors: architecture, books and publishing, design, video and film, performing arts, music, radio and television, software and games, advertising, libraries and museums. It corresponds to all commercial enterprises that create, produce and distribute creative and cultural goods as well as services. As mentioned in chapter 3.3 and 3.4, the performing and visual arts sectors / branches overlap with the sub-sectors listed here to some extent, but in the context of the creative industries the focus is only on commercially oriented companies.
Since 2003, eight reports on Creative Industries have appeared at national level and they provide a detailed mapping and monitoring of the sector. Regional studies on the cities of Vienna, Linz and Graz et al., and for the provinces of Burgenland, Lower Austria, Upper Austria, Styria, Vorarlberg and Tyrol are also available.
According to the eighth Austrian Creative Industries Report, in 2016 around 42 300 companies and some 153 000 self-employed and employed people were part of the creative industries. These are almost 11% of the companies in the Austrian economy and almost 5% of the total workforce. In 2016, the creative industry generated sales of around EUR 22 bn and a gross value added to factor costs of just under EUR 9.1 bn and is thus responsible for around 3% of revenues and around 4% of the value added of the Austrian economy as a whole. Creative companies were developing positively both in the short term (2015 to 2016) and in the long term (2008 to 2016). The following table gives an overview of the sector and the individual subsectors and their current economic indicators:
|Enterprises||Persons employed||Turnover in m. EUR||Value added in m. EUR|
|Books & publishing||3,895||22,910||3,852||1,220|
|Market for performing arts||8,041||22,764||2,556||1,385|
|Radio & TV||85||1,572||411||145|
|Software & games||7,553||41,186||6,739||3,363|
|Creative industries total||42,284||153,001||22,006||9,082|
Source: Eighth Austrian Creative Industries Report 2018, p. 34
Austria’s creative industries rank 10th in the European Union and are therefore of above-average importance compared to the size of the country (Bertschek et al. 2018). The Austrian creative industries show a high degree of internationalisation with an export rate of 19.4% compared to the 12.5% average export rate of the Austrian’s service industries.
In 2016, the Federal Ministry for Science, Research and Economy (now the Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs) published the Kreativwirtschaftsstrategie Österreich. This strategy aims to strengthen the Austrian innovation system, the competitiveness of the creative industries, the transformative effect of the creative industries on other sectors and Austria’s international reputation as a creative culture and innovation country by 2025.
The strategy builds on the strengths of Austria’s creative industries, which relate to companies and organisations in the fields, but also to the good support and promotion structures at regional and federal level, which have been steadily built up over the past fifteen years. In order to implement this strategy, the services of two long-standing partners are used: the Austrian business development bank Austria Wirtschaftsservice (AWS) (with its programme AWS Kreativwirtschaft) and Kreativwirtschaft Austria (KAT) (a working group of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce).
AWS Kreativwirtschaft focuses on monetary support in the form of a grant for innovative projects in the context of the creative industries as well as basic and advanced training programmes for the creative sector, e.g. AWS Impulse (funding and training for entrepreneurs). The working group Kreativwirtschaft Austria (KAT) in the Austrian Chamber of Labour has its remit as the interests of the Austrian creative industries, both at a national, European and international level. It is committed to developing the creative industries in Austria and creating linkages with other sectors. The activities encompass skills development to support the economic success of creative people through tangible services and networking of companies and intermediaries, representation of interests of the creative industries and information and awareness as a knowledge hub, commissioning studies into – and increasing – the visibility of the achievements of the creative sector. KAT publishes the Austrian Creative Industries Report every two years. Furthermore, a Kreativwirtschaftsbeirat (committee for the creative industries) was nominated by the minister for Digital and Economic Affairs in 2019 to accompany the ministry during the implementation of the strategy through monitoring activities and the formulation of recommendations.
Since 2004, there has also been an international offensive for the creative industries, which was launched by Außenwirtschaft Österreich (AWO; Foreign Trade Austria) and the Austrian Chamber of Commerce (WKÖ). Since then, with almost 100 co-funded international projects, more than 1 800 Austrian companies from the fields of design, architecture, music, fashion, art, multimedia and film have been advised and supported in 20 different countries on five continents.
Important initiatives for the creative industries have also been taken at the level of the federal provinces and the cities. Since 2003, departure – The Creative Agency of the City of Vienna, founded by the Vienna City Council, acted as an economic support and service office for creative industry enterprises in Vienna, integrated in the Vienna Business Agency. It supports projects mainly in the fields of fashion, music, multimedia, design, publishing, the arts market and architecture. Departure continues to serve as an information, service and networking centre for the creative industries in Vienna.
Further initiatives by the provinces to support the creative industries include the Burgenland Centre for the Creative Industries, Creative Industries Styria (CIS), the Upper Austria Creative Region, Upper Austria Creative Industries, Create Location Agency Tirol, Hafen 11 Creative Industries in Klagenfurt, and Design Austria. These initiatives aim to further develop the creative industries in the respective region and network with industry, trade and the service sector.
Many areas of artistic and cultural creation overlap with creative industry sectors, such as the film industry, publishing, sound recording production, fashion labels or parts of the visual arts (galleries) and performing arts (theatres). In this respect, the support provided in the arts and cultural field mentioned above in chapters 3.3 Performing Arts and 3.4 Visual Arts and Crafts also indirectly contributes to the development of the creative industries and vice-versa.
Last update: October, 2019
In the context of the Austrian creative industries, the books and press subsector (including publishing) is ranked third as regards employment, turnover and value-added indicators (see also chapter 3.5.1). In recent years, it has been considered as a relatively strong subsector economically. The subsector generates 18% of the turnover and 9% of the enterprises of the whole creative industry sector. But compared to the structure and sectoral distribution of the European creative industries, Austria has a relatively small books and press sector.
In 2004, a new Press Subsidy Act (Presseförderungsgesetz) came into force. In addition to distributing subsidies for daily and weekly newspapers and special subsidies for the preservation of diversity in regional daily newspapers, the Act also provides measures, such as support for the education of journalists and for research projects. Among other things, the Journalism Subsidy Act (Publizistikförderungsgesetz, 1984) sets out provisions to support periodicals if they deal with the topic of culture or related scientific disciplines. Since 2004, the Austrian Communications Authority (KommAustria) has been responsible for administering the press subsidies and subsidies under the Journalism Subsidy Act.
A characteristic of the media landscape in Austria is the high concentration in the field of the print media: in 1988 the leading dailies in Austria – Kronenzeitung (which reaches over 50% of Austrian households) and Kurier – merged to become the Mediaprint cartel. Due to another big merger in 2001, the situation has further intensified: one publishing group publishes the three leading political-economic news weeklies (News, Format, Profil; as well as Trend), media magazines (TV-Media and E-Media) and several lifestyle magazines. In September 2006, the News Group produced a new tabloid daily, Österreich, which became the second-biggest newspaper in the country. According to the Austrian country report of the Media Pluralism Monitor 2017, the growing market share of free daily newspapers has intensified the competition in the newspaper industry, causing a decline in the horizontal concentration of ownership.
The use of online media, in particular social networks, is increasing in Austria. More than 60% of people under 35 years of age use social media as one of their primary daily news sources, while TV and newspapers remain the main sources for people over 35 years old. Smartphones are used for news by more than the half of the Austrian population, as the Reuters Digital News Report 2017 points out.
Last update: October, 2019
Audiovisual and interactive media includes film and video, TV and radio, video games and internet podcasting. The Austrian definition of the creative industries includes the entire software and games sector, which has very strong economic indicators (see table at chapter 3.5.1.). However, the games sector is not reported separately and is of lesser economic importance. Radio and TV is the smallest subsector of the Austrian creative industry. In total, the audiovisual and interactive media sector in Austria consists of about 11 700 companies and about 53 600 staff, which generates a turnover of about EUR 8.7 million and a gross added value of about EUR 3.9 million (see table at chapter 3.5.1.).
The film sector has been developing dynamically for several years now. It is also an area for which subsidies have been restructured. In order to strengthen the promotion of the new generation in the film sphere, a coordination office in the Film Department in the Arts and Culture Division of the Federal Chancellery, together with the Austrian Film Institute (ÖFI), functions as a networking point and coordinates the structuring of the nationwide promotion of the upcoming generation. The Austrian Film Institute (ÖFI) is Austria’s largest promotion institution. It is a national film funding agency that supports the Austrian film business based on both cultural and economic aspects. Film funding aims at promoting Austrian cinema as well as co-productions on equal terms.
A further instrument to strengthen the Austrian film industry was introduced in 2011, with the support initiative Filmstandort Austria (FISA Film Location Austria) by the Bundesministerium für Digitalisierung und Wirtschaftsstandort (BMDW) to support national film production. Support is provided for the production of national productions, Austrian-foreign co-productions and service productions. The funding measure has an annual budget of EUR 7.5 million.
In order to promote cooperation between film and television, the Film / Television Agreement was concluded between the Austrian Film Institute and the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation for the first time in 1981. The objective is to provide television support in particular for the production of Austrian films. With the renewal of the Film / Television Agreement in 2011, annual funding for the Austrian film industry was raised from the previous EUR 5.9 million to EUR 8 million per year. A committee from members of the Filminstitute (ÖFI) and the ORF decides on the granting of funds. The request may be filed by film producers.
The Austrian Television Fund (Fernsehfonds Austria) is administrated by RTR-GmbH (Austrian Regulatory Authority for Broadcasting and Telecommunications) which receives EUR 13.5 million from the fees collected in accordance with Art. 3 (1) of the Austrian Broadcasting Fees Act (RGG). Funding is available for the promotion and administration of television productions (including television films, series and documentaries). More information related to the public funding system of the audiovisual sector can be found under the legislation chapter 4.2.6.
In recent years, a digitisation strategy (Digital Roadmap Austria) has been drawn up and implemented at federal level. Companies from the interactive media sector can also make use of the newly created support programmes.
Last update: October, 2019
The music sector in Austria accounts for 3% of companies in the Austrian creative industry. It is a rather small sector, with around 1 170 companies and just over 3 000 employees. Not just in Austria, but also throughout Europe the digitalisation of music distribution has led to a sharp decline in the retail trade in recorded audio and video media. Some companies that can be categorised in the music industry, such as independent musicians and composers, concert organisers, cultural and entertainment institutions for music, however, are statistically included in the market for performing arts.
Music traditionally plays an important role in Austrian cultural life. In recent years, Austrian productions/musicians who position themselves outside classical music have gained a higher profile and are successfully represented on the market. Some initiatives as listed below support them. The Music Information Centre Mica – Music Austria was founded in 1994 on the initiative of the Austrian government as an independent, voluntary association. The objectives of the association are the preparation of information on live music in Austria as well as research into the field of contemporary music; the support of contemporary musicians living in Austria through counselling and information; the dissemination of domestic music-making through promotion at home and abroad; and the improvement of the general conditions for music making in Austria. Mica is supported by the Arts and Culture Division of the Federal Chancellery and by the Cultural Department of the City of Vienna.
Austrian Music Export is a service and resource centre for exporters of contemporary Austrian music in all genres and aspects (recordings, live, sync, etc.). This includes providing access to information on Austrian artists and companies, building a substantial network of industry professionals and media, providing travel support and representing Austrian music at international trade shows, conferences and festivals. Austrian Music Export is a joint initiative of Mica – Music Austria and the Austrian Music Fund in close cooperation with the organisers of the Austrian booths at international music trade fairs and go international – an initiative of WKO and the BMBWFW, the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, the Arts and Culture Division of the Federal Chancellery of Austria,the AUME/SKE Fund and the Municipal Department of Cultural Affairs of the City of Vienna.
The New Austrian Sound of Music (NASOM) is a long-term sponsorship program by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs (BMEIA), promoting young emerging Austrian and Austria-based bands and musicians performing abroad. The aim of NASOM is to offer biennial support for international performances of promising young talents with the help of a global network of embassies, cultural forums and consulates. A further objective of NASOM is to draw more attention to the fact that Austrian music creation – beyond the traditional – is as vibrant, modern and culturally diverse as ever. Every two years, the young artists accepted for this programme are selected in cooperation with the organisation Mica – Music Austria and local music universities. Participants of this sponsorship programme are chosen from the genres of classical, jazz, world, contemporary and pop music.
Last update: October, 2019
This sector definition includes the subsectors design, architecture and advertising services. In the three most important subsectors of the Austrian creative industry as a whole, advertising and architecture are second and third respectively in terms of size and economic value of the subsectors (see table at chapter 3.5.1.). The overall sector comprises a total of around 17 400 companies, around 50 500 employees and generates sales revenue of around EUR 6.5 million and gross value added of around EUR 2.4 million. The three subsectors have different structural characteristics: in architecture the average size of the company is higher, in advertising there is a higher turnover. By comparison, the design sector is much smaller and has a high proportion of one-person companies. Statistically, the economic importance of the design sector tends to be underestimated, as many designers, especially industrial designers, work in companies that are not categorised in the design sector.
The Vienna Design Week, an international design festival since 2006, offers young designers a platform for the presentation of their projects and has contributed to innovative cooperation between culture, design and business. The event has also contributed to making design an important competition factor in public awareness. The Blickfang International Design Fair, founded in 1993 in Stuttgart, and in the meantime also taking place in Zurich, Basel, Copenhagen and Hamburg, has been held in Vienna since 2004. This event has also essentially contributed to the success and profile of the creative industries and their importance in Austria.
In 2012, Austria's most important design initiatives jointly founded the open platform AustrianDesignNet, a voluntary association of institutions from the Austrian design and creative industry. The aim is to represent Austrian design together at international events and above all to network and coordinate national and international activities better. The initiative is operated by the following eight institutions: AWS Kreativwirtschaft, Creative Industries Styria, Creative Region Linz & Upper Austria, Designaustria, Designforum Vienna, Kreativzentrum Departure – the creative centre of the Vienna Business Agency, MAK – Austrian Museum for Applied Arts / Contemporary Art and Vienna Design Week.
In the field of architecture, there is a House of Architecture in every Austrian province: it is a non-profit association for the promotion of architecture and quality construction in the field between cultural, social and educational policy as well as general economic conditions. These have joined forces with other interest groups in the field of architecture to form the Architekturstiftung Österreich. In addition to the statutory professional associations and the training centres, the independent architectural initiatives form an important third pillar for safeguarding architecture. The network of architectural initiatives is committed to architectural quality and promotes understanding of contemporary architecture in politics, administration and the public. The aim is to inspire people with enthusiasm for architecture and to make them demanding partners in the design of the built environment. There is also a clear commitment by the government to an architecture that encompasses all Austrian regions. In 2017, the Architecture Reportand the government’s architectural guidelines were published for the third time (see also chapter 2.9.).
Last update: October, 2019
Cultural tourism plays an important role for Austria as a tourist destination and is therefore also treated as a topical issue in tourism policy, both by the Ministry responsible and by the Austrian National Tourist Office. Apart from cultural heritage (especially in an urban context), festivals and other cultural are also of great importance. Cultural tourism is no longer limited to cities alone; more than 15 000 theatre and concert performances as well as more than 2 500 events as part of festivalstake place on a regional level in Austria. Since the culture-loving public is well educated and has above-average purchasing power, the destinations and venues benefit from the added value generated and the jobs needed.
Data from 2017 indicate that for around 2.5 million holidaymakers culture is the main motive for a holiday in Austria. Visitors’ cultural interests have changed in parallel with the social concept of culture, which is much broader today than previously. Whereas offerings that could be categorised as ‘high culture’ and ‘classical’ predominated in earlier decades, today there is a wide variety, ranging from subculture and everyday culture to the avant-garde and experimental.