Hofburg Palace in Vienna hosted the opening ceremony of the Russia-Austria bilateral Tourism Year. Secretary-General of the United Nations’ World Tourism Organization Taleb Rifai, Russia’s Deputy Culture Minister Alla Manilova, Director General of the Austrian Ministry of Economy Elisabeth Udolf-Strobl have participated in the event, according to the Culture Ministry’s press service. Laureates of the XV International Tchaikovsky competition held a concert for the officials following the opening ceremony.
Vienna will host a number of events dedicated to the bilateral Tourism Year by January 14, 2017 including the Russia-Austria tourism forum. A conference on urban and cultural tourism between Russian and Austrian experts will be held in Hofburg Palace.
In early October 2016, Alla Manilova and Elisabeth Udolf-Strobl signed a joint statement on the Russia-Austria bilateral Tourism Year and approved its programme. One of the goals of 2017 is to increase cultural and humanitarian ties and increase bilateral tourism.
In December, 2016, a Visit Russia travel program office opened up in Vienna. It offers information on tourism in Russia and on the upcoming = FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 and the FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia™. The Austrian Visit Russia branch is the 12th largest in the world.