Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: To commemorate 60 years of diplomatic relations between India and Austria, the Vienna Tourist Board has put in place new plans to woo holiday revellers and business travellers.

“The special anniversary gives us a unique chance to deepen the close friendship between the two nations. India and Austria have a significant shared cultural heritage that continues into the 21st Century. Both countries will now intensify their partnership with focus on culture and music,” said Vienna Tourist Board managing director Norbert Kettner at a press conference here on Friday.

Mr. Kettner said a big city like Vienna with its old churches, monasteries and exquisite architecture can be a romantic place for honeymoon couples or even itinerant travellers. “Actually Vienna is one of the most preferred destinations in Europe among Indians apart from Switzerland. The Indian film industry is keen to explore Austria’s impressive outdoor locations. The city provided the backdrop for Subhash Ghai’s Yuvvraaj that was released last year. Highlights from the city’s imperial past such as Schonbrunn Palace and Spanish Riding School can serve as an ideal backdrop for film productions and can also be enjoyed as real-life attractions on the itinerary of any culture-loving Indian visitor.”

More to Vienna

St. Stephan’s Cathedral, the foremost example of Gothic architecture, is home to impressive artistic treasures and also a veritable treasure trove for numerologists and cryptographers.

“The city’s smallest coffee roastery can be found near Naschmarket. Naber, a Viennese family business now in its fourth generation, has been roasting coffee since 1908. The family’s roastery uses only the finest highland Arabia beans,” he added.

According to Mr. Kettner, the global recession has not prevented Indians from travelling abroad, indicating that the country’s economy continues to be strong.

Describing India as one of the largest markets in the world, Austrian National Tourist Office market manager (India) Christine Mukharji said: “The fact that 70 per cent of Indian tourists stay in four or five-star hotels and like to spend money on shopping and casino trips will be of interest to our tourism professionals. I’ve been told that the most exclusive buildings in central Vienna are owned by an Indian businessman. Last year a number of Indians opened their restaurants in Vienna.”