An Austrian ski resort is aiming to shed its reputation as a party resort, and enhance its reputation as a resort that offers high quality. This comes after Ischgl became the centre of Austria’s biggest cluster of COVID-19 cases, causing its mayor, Werner Kurz, to announce a strategy process for the future.

A resort view of the ski resort of Ischgl in Austria
Ischgl is aiming to shed its reputation as a party resort © Westend61 via Getty Images

Ischgl straddles the Swiss border, and it is known for its boisterous après-ski scene. The Alpine ski resort is a place where table-dancing bars, folk music and techno happily co-exist during the winter. Unfortunately, back in February and early March, hundreds of visitors to the resort contracted the coronavirus and brought it back to their respective hometowns and countries, and the strife that ensued has caused the mayor of Ischgl, Werner Kurz, to announce a strategy process for the village's future.

Skiers in the ski resort Ischgl in Austria
Ischgl is a popular resort in the Alps © Paul Biris via Getty Images

As he announced the easing of lockdown restrictions in Paznaun, Kurz expressed dismay that Ischgl is often portrayed in the media as a party resort. "Although this only represents a small part of what our region has to offer, it still dominates the perception of our resort," he said in a press briefing. "This image does not do us justice in any way. We have been offering our guests high-end tourism and winter sports for years. The majority of the guests come to Ischgl because we are one of the best and most attractive resorts in the Alps, and because of our ski area, which is rightly considered to be one of the most beautiful in the world.”

A skier skiing downhill in high mountains against sunshine
The mayor wants the focus to be on high-end tourism and winter sports © Samot/Shutterstock

The mayor is currently working together with Ischgl's tourism office, cable car companies, restaurants and accommodation providers to implement specific measures to achieve the resort's main goal of "more quality." "We will analyse developments in recent years and make improvements where necessary," he said.

For further information on Ischgl, please see here.

Keep up to date with Lonely Planet's latest travel-related COVID-19 news here.

You might also like:

David Attenborough will help teach your kids geography at home

South African Tourism releases powerful isolation videos to encourage people to stay at home

Explore related stories

View of Mount Taranaki from Turoa Skifield, snowboarder in background, winter season, New Zealand
ski area,winter season,rural,tourism,winter,clouds,remote,scenery,scenic,summit,sun,new zealand,cloud,ski,spring,beautiful,mountain,view,rocks,white,volcano,sunny,sky,storm,natural,nature,peak,lush,slope,breathe,mount,pacific,water,voyage,adventure,outdoor,vocation,egmont,blue,ocean,snow,silhouette,taranaki,travel,sport,landscape,snowboard


12 great ski destinations for every month of the year

Nov 13, 2023 • 6 min read