Industry & tourism now pulling in the same direction

Christoph Pfeiler


Two sectors, whose interests were difficult to reconcile in the past, are now entering into an exceptional joint cooperation with substantial win-win potential. The motto is: ‘Using joint strengths and potential!’ – entrepreneurs from the industry and tourism sectors are now taking on the challenge of reducing their respective interests down to a common denominator, based on an interdisciplinary approach and project group working. The unique cooperation focuses on Carinthia’s clear positioning as an attractive business location with a high quality of life. The first concrete result: the website, a platform which highlights the high quality of life and places the Villach region in the spotlight, based on the motto of ‘Living, working, playing, learning’.

Increasing regional value creation
“We would like to develop new perspectives, ideas and especially regional projects with representatives from the working group – as part of a mutually strengthening collaboration between the worlds of industry and tourism. Together we are exploring new pathways for generating additional regional added value”, says founding member and tourism expert Claudia Kohl from Kohl & Partner. The cooperation is unique in terms of its flexile design and composition of partners.

ONE marketplace for high-tech and tourism
During these days of limited resources, it makes sense for the two fundamental business sectors present in the area to join forces. The symbiosis of high-tech industry and tourism can develop a range of advantages for both sectors. The relevant partners from the two sectors come together according to the region, project and interests concerned. The working group sees itself as a ‘marketplace’ where joint plans are developed and projects mutually supported by exchanging experiences. The cross-sector cooperation also receives support from the Alpen Adria University and Carinthia University of Applied Sciences in terms of diversity, eco innovation and change management.

Co-organisation as a success factor – ‘We create a smart destination!’
Factors relating to quality of life play a key role for Villach as a high-tech and industrial location due to the demand for qualified employees. “It is precisely here that the cooperation partners are joining forces and exploring a common pathway”, says Oliver Heinrich, CFO at Infineon Technologies Austria. “The industry requires qualified professionals and they are looking for an attractive employer as well as a working environment in a location and future centre of life which offers quality living for their family.”

Welcome2Villach – first project implemented
The first topic for the Villach region has now been implemented with various project partners and in conjunction with the new working group. Mayor of Villach, Günther Albel, also considers it important to have a joint and strong external image: “It is about the targeted marketing of our living space, not about the interests of specific industries or individuals. Thanks to this collaboration, we can advertise our attractive location together in the future.” The first concrete result of this new cooperation is the platform which has been devised for potential employees and guests under the ambitious motto of ‘Living, working, playing, learning in Villach’. “Everyone interested in our region is provided with the key information about everyday life here at a glance such as training, healthcare provision, the environment, security and leisure”, says Regional Tourism Director Georg Overs. The big advantage: for the first time, there will be ONE clear platform in German and English, serving as an introductory contact point and business card for the region.

Additional joint projects in the planning stages
One project being intensively worked on at present are sustainable mobility solutions for commuters and guests. The focus is also on international business travellers and the issue of how to acquire more of these important clients for Villach and the region. This involves cross-sector activities and a special training service for tourism businesses.

Founding members of the ‘Industry & Tourism’ initiative:

  • Oliver Heinrich, Dipl.-Ing. (FH), CFO of Infineon Technologies Austria AG, Villach (also represents the Carinthian Industrialists’ Association)
  • Claudia Kohl, MBA, and Manfred Kohl, Dr., tourism experts, Managing Directors at Kohl & Partner GmbH Hotel und Tourismus Beratung
  • Gernot Mödritscher, Prof. Dr., economist, Alpen Adria University Klagenfurt
  • Sabine Seidler, Dr., expert in organisation development, Villach


Cooperation partners with the ‘Industry & Tourism’ initiative and project partners at

  • 3M Precision Grinding
  • Carinthia University of Applied Sciences
  • Flowserve Control Valves
  • Imerys Fused Minerals & C.A.R.R.D.
  • Infineon Technologies Austria
  • Intel Austria
  • Lam Research
  • Villach – Faaker See – Ossiacher See tourism region
  • City of Villach
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