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