Griass enk, boys and girls!*


says Gerold Permoser, Chief Investment Officer (CIO) and

Chief Sustainable Investment Officer (CSIO) of Erste Asset Management.


My father was born in a really old village inn. The address, “Dorf 1” (Village 1) was programmatic. For our family,

the stories about the times our great-grandmother – presiding over the local polling station – would declare the

concept of election secrecy null and void, effectively forcing open voting, are the stuff legends are made of.


That world is history. The village inn has been sold and replaced by a small enterprise with more than ten employees.

Voting now takes place, thank God, in a public building. But what remains are many memories that make me look

at today’s tourism sector with mixed feelings.


My grandaunt was working in the kitchen up until three days before her death at the age of 88. She was in an

enviably good physical and mental state, which, as we believe, also had to do with the fact that her services were

being needed. However, the border to (self)exploitation is a blurry one.


As far as I know, my father was the last member of our family to have been born at the village inn. And that is not

only due to the fact that Tyrol now has a good number of hospitals: it is hard to reconcile a job in the hotel industry

with a family. At the beginning of the 1990s Felix Mitterer’s “Piefke Saga” was filmed. This scathing satire highlights

the aberrations of the Tyrolean tourism industry in such an ingenious fashion that I will spare you my own experien-

ces. What was back then a ratings hit classic and has become a piece of TV history, nowadays reminds me that

sustainable tourism represents a real challenge. A challenge that does not start in Thailand or Costa Rica, but

at our doorstep.


* “Griaß enk” means “Hello” in Tyrolean dialect.

€ 7.3 billions

The land of Tyrol produces Chief Investment Officers and

revenues: gross value added in the tourism industry in 2012/13

amounted to EUR 4bn in Tyrol, based on sales of EUR 7.3bn. 45mn

overnight stays translated into a small increase year-on-year, with the

trend in Tyrol – much like at many other destinations – going towards more

but shorter trips. More than half of the tourists come from Germany, followed

by the Netherlands, and Austria. Tourism plays an even more crucial role in

Tyrol than it does in other parts of Austria: while tourism averages 5.5% in terms

of GDP, in Tyrol it accounts for 16%. In tourism hot spots like Kitzbühel, this

share is far higher. Source: Tirol Werbung, Statistik Austria

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