Austria’s Minister of Tourism and Agriculture Elisabeth Köstinger has pledged to make coronavirus tests free for foreigners and tourists in order to boost the country’s devastated tourism sector.
Testing has become crucially important in Austria, not only as a pre-requisite for most forms of travel but also to take part in certain activities like events, as well as visiting bars and restaurants.
Köstinger told Austria’s Kleine Zeitung newspaper that the boost Austria would receive from increased tourism would offset the costs of the tests.
Köstinger said that tourists looking to travel this summer might have in the past looked for places that offered free wifi or parking, but in 2021 want to know if coronavirus testing is free.
“It is clear that we have to offer test offers to guests in major tourist centres. This is indispensable for a holiday destination,” said the tourism minister.
It is in the country’s interests “that vacationers come to us”.
“In the past, guests wanted to know whether there was free WiFi or a free parking space.”
Now, the offering of free coronavirus tests “is decisive for the booking” Köstinger explained.
Austria has invested heavily into coronavirus testing and has become one of the continent’s leaders in the process.
Testing is free for Austrian citizens and residents, however up until now it was unclear as to who would cover the cost for foreigners.
Austria’s quarantine requirement was wound back for most arrivals on May 19th. Click here for more information.