Q: You have become the new head of Klagenfurt Tourism Bureau – what are your main challenges, goals and activities?
One of the main challenges is to optimize our online selling activities. We are currently working on a new website with a flexible shopping cart system. Our visitors can choose what pieces they want to pack, pay online and get a voucher including for all the services for their stay.
The second main challenge is to create new offers for our guests, such as historical or culinary tours through the city.
The third project is everything about cycling: we are implementing an autonomic bike rental system and trying to enhance the bike infrastructure of the city.
Q: In your opinion, what makes Klagenfurt special?
It’s the combination of the old town and the nearby lake Wörthersee. We are a very green city with beautiful parks, such as the Europapark, and we offer hiking or running areas like the Kreuzbergl. We have also the Alps very close to Klagenfurt; it takes no more than 30 minutes by car to the Karawanks.
Q: What are Klagenfurt’s advantages compared to the wider region?
The advantages of Klagenfurt are the short distances, the really good sports infrastructure, the southern lifestyle and a good range of traditional restaurants.
Q: How important is the MICE sector for Klagenfurt?
Actually, it’s not as big as I would want it to be, but we are trying to increase the number of meetings and congresses. This year we are hosting the first Austrian homeopathy congress in September and then the presentation of an important automotive manufacturer in October. The event sector is quite big, with the most important ones in Carinthia, such as the Ironman, United World Games, World Bodypainting Festival or the Starnacht, one of the most important German pop events.
Q: What can you tell us about Klagenfurt’s tourism infrastructure specifically regarding the meeting industry?
We have really good infrastructure for fairs and meetings for up to 500 persons. For that we can offer several cool locations – for example our Schleppe brewery, the Lakeside technology park, the concert hall, the Wörthersee football stadium with its sports park, or even our fair in the heart of the cit
Q: Where would you take someone to “feel” the vibe of Klagenfurt and what is your best incentive idea in Klagenfurt?
There are two places that represent the ‘feel’ of Klagenfurt: firstly there is the marina at the Wörthersee, with all the boats and ships and the restaurants directly on the lake, as well as the biggest lakeside beach in Europe. Secondly is the Benedictine market, which offers all the tastes and smells of the region between Carinthia, Slovenia and Friuli.
I have a few incentive ideas: a guided e-bicycle tour along the river Glan to the medieval town of Friesach. There you can visit a castle and see how it is built. Or a guided culinary tour through Klagenfurt and its famous market. Or a trip on a historical speedboat of the Austrian navy (yes – we formerly had one!)
Q: In your opinion, how important is content marketing for Klagenfurt as meeting destination?
It will be one of the most important issues. Every meeting destination is more or less interchangeable – except for its stories. We work on finding interesting, funny, thrilling or even historical stories to tell and make them come alive in our programmes
Q: What makes you smile?
My two sons – when we act as Star Wars figures. Or watching Kung Fu Panda 1-3…
Q; What is your best recipe for your off days?
I enjoy staying in nature, hiking, hunting, or helping my brother in law in the forest.
Q: What are the 3 things you cannot live without?
The excellent meals of my beloved wife :-), good books and sunny days.
Q: What inspires you and gives you energy?
Good films, art exhibitions and success in work.
CONTENT MARKETING WILL BE ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUES. EVERY MEETING DESTINATION IS MORE OR LESS INTERCHANGEABLE – EXCEPT FOR ITS STORIES. WE WORK ON FINDING INTERESTING, FUNNY, THRILLING OR EVEN HISTORICAL STORIES TO TELL AND MAKE THEM COME ALIVE IN OUR PROGRAMMES.
Born in Lienz (Eastern Tyrol) and grew up in the heart of the Dolomites, Helmuth studied German studies and Public relations at the Alpe Adria University in Klagenfurt. He started his career as project manager for two hotel cooperations of the Austrian tourism board before later working for the Carinthia Tourism Board, the Eastern Tyrol Tourism Board, the destination Klopeiner See – Südkärnten and, since September 2016, for the Klagenfurt Tourism bureau