Top sports let this Austrian city rise above the rest.
For the annual ‘Luxury Travel Awards’ launched by the Luxury Travel Guide (USA) several years ago, a team of tourism experts evaluates each year hotels, airlines, destina-tions and tour options all around the globe. The selection criteria is mainly focused on innovation and design, rooms and facilities, gastronomic achievements, service excellence, use of technology, sustainable development, marketing and branding, as well as employee satisfaction and location. In 2016, Innsbruck came first in the category of ‘Best European Winter Sports Destination’, competing with nine other European finalists.
The fact that Innsbruck caters to both adventurous winter sports enthusiasts and avid culture vultures alike was a decisive factor in the selection process. Innsbruck, the capital of the Alps, combines a unique blend of urban lifestyle and alpine adventure, culture, sports, architecture and nature. While its historic old town and imperial buildings reflect the region’s colourful past, the city boasts also modern architectural highlights that feature on the must-see list of many visitors to Europe, among them works by recently deceased star architect Zaha Hadid such as the iconic Bergisel ski jump tower and station buildings of the Nordkettenbahnen cable railways.
During the snowy season Innsbruck and surroundings leave nothing to be desired. Having hosted Olympic Winter Games on two occasions already (1964, 1976), as well as the first Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG 2012) and Ice Hockey World Championships (2005), the city offers perfect conditions for downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding and ice sports. In addition to being a long-time venue for the international ‘Air + Style’ snowboard event, Innsbruck has also held Bobsleigh and Luge World Championships and is a regular tour stop for the Four Hills ski jumping tournament. Kühtai, at 2,000m altitude Austria’s highest ski resort, is only a few kilometres away. On top of all this, Innsbruck and surroundings offer nine ski areas featuring a total of 300 km of slopes. A free ski bus service provides visitors with convenient access to the nine ski areas of Olympia Ski World Innsbruck. The surrounding ski regions are also within easy reach of Innsbruck Airport.
Innsbruck has not only positioned itself as a leading sports metropolis, but also masterfully incorporates a vibrant cultural and culinary offer for visitors and residents. Anyone who has been there wants to return soon. An award very well deserved!