Alps & Lakes in the West:
Skiing & more skiing
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Historically, the alps were rather unimportant for Austria′s economy: The sparse soil and difficulties with building roads made them the least developed area first in the Empire and later in the Republic until well into the 20th century. Only since skiing has gone big ever after World War II, the alpine regions of Austria in Vorarlberg, Tyrol, Salzburg and Carinthia are among the nation′s wealthiest.
The skiing industry guarantees that Austria′s tourism flourishes all year round. Since the eastern Alps have a reputation for steep slopes ("Pisten") and cold winters, Austria is a global player when it comes to attracting winter sport tourist. Additional goodies are hot springs that feed spas, often directly in the most popular skiing resorts.