New Management Appointed for VERBUND Tourism


he general assembly of VERBUND Tourismus GmbH has unanimously agreed the appointment of Gerhard Walter as new managing director, with effect from 1 October 2010

For VERBUND board member Dr. Ulrike Baumgartner-Gabitzer, the appointment of the successful tourism manager by Austria’s leading electricity company underlines "our commitment to also optimally utilize our plants for tourism and to enable our forward-looking solutions to be experienced directly by a wide audience."

VERBUND Tourismus GmbH is a subsidiary of VERBUND in which, among other things, the tourism infrastructure surrounding the storage power plants of Kaprun (Salzburg), Malta (Carinthia), Reißeck (Carinthia) and Schlegeis (Tyrol) is concentrated. The high alpine road of Malta and the Kölnbrein reservoir (Malta), for example, count among Austria’s most popular destinations, with some 130,000 visitors per year.

"We are delighted that, in the person of Walter, we have been able to enlist one of Austria’s most experienced tourism managers who, on account of his past experience, can also draw upon a broad internal network. By enabling electricity production to be experienced by a wide audience we are clearly demonstrating our leading position throughout Europe as a producer of hydropower," emphasizes Baumgartner-Gabitzer.

Gerhard Walter began his career in 1990 in the marketing sector of the Bregenz Festival, before moving to the USA in order to work for the Austrian National Tourist Office.  Between 1993 and 2004 Walter was chairman of the Galtür Tourism Association and, in this role, was also chiefly responsible for the internationally observed crisis management of the avalanche events of 1999. In 2004 Walter was appointed managing director of Lech Zürs Tourismus GmbH and, since then, has been responsible for the innovative further development of one of the leading brands in alpine tourism. 

Walter completed the university course for tourism at the University of Innsbruck, was latterly in numerous bodies as expert advisor, but also had an active role in the international marketing association BOTA Best of the Alps. Walter himself describes his forthcoming change to the VERBUND Group as an "absolute choice because, in this position, the future-oriented issues of energy, as well as the tourism and leisure industry, allow themselves to be innovatively merged together."