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Austria Tourism to close AU office; Lilly Freudmayer replaces Denk as market rep 

The Austria National Tourist Office (ANTO) has decided to pull the plug on its Australian office, despite strong visitor numbers out of the country.

The Austria National Tourist Office (ANTO) has decided to pull the plug on its Australian office, despite strong visitor numbers out of the country.

ANTO Head of Market Asia-Pacific Emanuel Lehner-Telic says the closure is due to improvements in remote operations for Austria Tourism.

“ANTO will remain committed to the Australian market after making a fantastic recovery,” he said. 

“During the pandemic we realised that the digitalisation offers many advantages and flexibility. Therefore, we have decided to close the office location in Sydney.”

The move comes on the back of a big couple of years for Australian travel to Austria, which has seen Australia become the best-performing market within the Asia-Pacific region since 2022. 

From January to August, overnights are level with the same period in 2019, which was a record year for the Aussie market, while some destinations – like ski hub Innsbruck – are showing double-digit growth (17 per cent) over pre-pandemic numbers.

New Austria tourism rep

Meanwhile, ANTO’s Australia Market Representative for the past 12 months, Kathrina Denk, will relocate back to Austria at the end of the year. Denk has been with the ANTO Sydney office for nearly seven years.

Replacing Denk as a ‘Roving Market Representative’ for Australia and Southeast Asia will be Lilly Freudmayer, who will commence her role on 1 December 2023.

“Lilly Freudmayer has broad international experience in the tourism industry,” Lehner-Telic said of Freudmayer, who joined Austria Tourism in early 2020.

“During her time at ANTO she has been working in different markets, including GCC, Israel, and Southeast Asia. 

Emanuel Lehner-Telic
Emanuel Lehner-Telic

“Lilly will regularly come to Australia to maintain ANTO’s relationships with the local travel industry and our valuable partners.”

Freudmayer said, “I am thrilled about the new challenges and opportunities this role will bring. I look forward to getting to know the Australian market, share my knowledge and keep our strong partnerships with the industry.”

Lehner-Telic also praised Denk’s work in Australia which navigated the COVID-19 pandemic, among other challenges. 

“It has been an absolute pleasure working with Kathrina and I am proud of the successes we have achieved especially after this difficult time for the industry. We wish her all the best for her future in Austria.” 

Austria tourism on show

At ANTO’s Klimt & Riesling event in Sydney.

Last week, Sydney’s Pinot & Picasso transformed into Riesling & Klimt as ANTO invited travel advisors, tour operators and more to celebrate the Salzkammergut Region of Austria, a European Capital of Culture in 2024. 

For the first time in the program’s history, 23 communities within an Alpine region will come together as a European Capital of Culture. 

And Sydney’s travel trade marked the event by painting their own “masterpieces” to the sounds of Franz Schubert and enjoying Austrian-inspired cuisine including gourmet sausages, pretzels and of course, strudel. 

2024 looks like it’ll be a big year for Austria tourism and ANTO.

Read our interview with Emanuel Lehner from earlier this year.