New rules for Winter 2021/22: Ski lifts and Après-ski

22 September: new rules have been announced by Austrian Tourism Minister Elizabeth Köstinger.   

In summary, there will be very few restrictions for skiers who have been vaccinated. 

  • The 3G Rule applies refers to ‘Getestet, Geimpft, Genesen’ (Tested, Vaccinated, Recovered)
  • You must show evidence of vaccination, a negative test or having recovered from the virus in the last 6 months (applies for everyone over 12 years)
  • Antigen tests from an Apotheke are valid for 48 hours
  • PCR tests are valid for 72 hours
  • The EU Green Pass will make it easy to prove your status (NHS app for UK citizens)
  • FFP2 masks must be worn on ski lifts
  • 85% of lifts are open (chair lifts) with a lower risk of infection and a journey time of less than 15 minutes
  • The same rules apply to après-ski as to restaurants: guests must show a valid negative PCR test result, proof of vaccination or proof of recovery
  • If the ICU capacity in Tirol becomes limited then stricter measures will be needed (after 300 and 400 ICU beds are in use – currently at 60).

Glacier skiing in Sölden is already in full swing!

© Ötztal Tourismus/Bergbahnen Sölden

Serviced apartments 20% higher occupancy than hotels

The serviced apartment segment proved its resilience during the pandemic according to a recently published market report “Serviced Apartments 2021” (Source:

The 2020 occupancy rates for serviced apartments were at least 19% higher than the hotel sector and 28% higher in April 2020.

According to the current planning status, the serviced apartment segment will grow by 48% by the end of 2023.

Other news:

Our operator is getting lots of bookings for July and August and even into September as the number of new infections has fallen in Germany (19.9 per 100,000) and Austria (24 per 100,000).

There has also been another lifting of restrictions in Austria:

  • The curfew has moved from 2200 to midnight
  • 8 adults can meet indoors and 16 outdoors
  • Social distancing is now 1 metre instead of 2 metres
  • Cultural venues can now allow 75% occupancy instead of 50%
  • You no longer have to wear a mask outdoors

Austria and the rest of the EU are working on producing a Digital Covid Certificate which will become valid from 1 July.

Tirol is one the least densely populated areas in Europe with 59 people per square kilometre versus Germany 232, Netherlands 521, England (UK) 424, Belgium 376, Czech Republic 135.

And our serviced apartment model provides extra safety during these times.

Come and stay in a well-spaced, self-contained apartment where you can arrive in your own car, you have the flexibility to cook for yourself and there are fewer communal areas compared to the old-fashioned 3 and 4-star family-run hotels.

Austria to vaccinate every adult in next 100 days

Austria is performing well in its vaccination programme when compared to other European states.

According to the Statista website , Austria is in 9th place in Europe with 19.5 percent of its population having been given at least one dose, just behind Denmark which is at 20 percent.

One reason is probably that it has not stopped using the AstraZeneca vaccine for certain age groups.

Last week Chancellor Sebastian Kurz promised every adult in Austria who wants to be vaccinated against the coronavirus will be given the opportunity in the next 100 days.

Kurz also said sport, restaurants and hotels will be able to open again in May, after over 65s are vaccinated.

In May all over 50-year-olds should be jabbed, and in June vaccination is to be opened to all age groups. (source:

Welcome news for the tourism industry and the forthcoming Summer season.

Our operator is expecting a very busy July, August and September.

June could also start to get busy and in October they are expecting good business from the hiking tourists in Oetz and Fieberbrunn where the lifts run from 13 May to 26 October.

More and more tourists now prefer to stay in a well-spaced, self-contained apartment where they have the flexibility to cook instead of the old-fashioned 3 and 4-star family-run hotels which run the standard half-board service model in a riskier environment with more communal areas.

At Kristall Spaces, we are arranging meetings next week with property buyers from Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and the UK who are travelling for business purposes right now to invest in a property that supports tourism.

Please contact us today to arrange your property viewing in person or remotely via video.

Construction resumes in Ischgl / Galtür – 46 apartments

Our Baumanagement team just got the go-ahead to resume construction on our All-Suite Resort Paznaun project.

We are building 46 apartments just 7 minutes outside Ischgl (on the free ski bus) and normally we are not allowed to build during the ski season.

Galtür is open for skiing until 5 April.

We have already sold 30% of the units in this project and so there is still a good choice of 1, 2 and 3-bedders available.

Most apartments have South-facing views.


Contact us today for more information or to request a personalised rental projection.



11 January: visiting Tirol to see apartments & sign contracts

There is currently a lockdown in place in Austria until 24 January and we are advising prospective apartment buyers to wait until after this date to travel to Tirol.

IMPORTANT: if you travelling to see an apartment or sign a contract (mortgage or Kaufvertrag) then your visit is categorsied as a business trip because you are considering an investment in a “gewerbliche Ferienwohnung” which supports tourism in Tirol.  

In other words, you are not travelling as a tourist and it is easier to enter Austria.  

Please contact us to discuss this and we will advise you on the best way to make a visit e.g. some visitors crossing the border from Germany will be arriving by car to see an apartment and returning home on the same day, without a stay in Tirol.  

The situation for tourists:    

Our operator, All-Suite Resorts GmbH, is currently planning to open on Monday 25 January and they are considering two scenarios for February which is typically a very busy month for tourism from all the key markets.

There might be no customers at all except for Austrians because the restrictions are in place entering Tirol and returning home or there could be a deluge of arrivals. 

Arriving tourists would probably have to show a negative test to avoid quarantine or if they do not have a test then this could be arranged on arrival and the guest would have to stay in their apartment for up to 24 hours until they get the result.  

Tourists would have to comply with their home country rules and some of these might require a quarantine for 5 days followed by a test to release them. 

This might be an acceptable given the various holidays in key markets like Germany, the Benelux, Switzerland and the Czech Republic.  

The new “work from home” means the impact of quarantine is less disruptive on working lives.   

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions. 

27 November: visiting Tirol & site visits

There is currently a lockdown in place in Tirol until 6 December.  Hotels are closed to leisure travellers/tourists; only business travellers are allowed to stay in hotels.

Some of our buyers have legitimate excuses to travel for business or for the purpose of making an investment in a “gewerbliche Ferienwohnung” which supports Austria’s tourism industry.

The Federal Government has ordered over 7 million tests to try and screen the entire population at 100 testing stations across the country before Christmas.


  • Kristall Spaces is still planning site visits in-person for buyers who are able to travel – observing all safety protocols
  • It is easier for buyers based in Austria to do site visits right now but some buyers are able to cross from Germany for 24hours to do the site visit and then they go home
  • Buyers from further afield can even fly into Munich airport to make a quick visit over the border before returning
  • Virtual visits: we are also doing visits over video with our customers – we can make a video call from the finished apartments or the shell of the apartments in Fieberbrunn for example
  • 3D tours: for finished apartments in Oetz, Sölden and St. Anton customers can walk around the last few apartments for sale (we have sold several apartments this way) e.g.


  • The total number of infections in Tirol is falling
  • Most of the infections are in densely populated areas like Innsbruck – the valleys and ski resorts are not affected and, for example, there are 164 infections in the Bezirk of Landeck, the district which covers Ischgl and St. Anton
  • Our hotel operating company can arrange COVID tests with local doctors and have the cost charged to the bill for the stay in our apartments
  • The national testing programme will enable all the authorities to isolate infected people before Christmas
  • Andreas Steibl, the Director of Tourism in Ischgl says more than €700,000 had been invested in their hygiene and protection plan which “goes far beyond the government’s measures”
  • The Tirol state government and University of Innsbruck are monitoring Ischgl’s sewage works to identify any presence of the virus
  • Disinfection of all cable cars takes place several times a day using special cold fogging devices: within 1 minute 99.99% of viruses, bacteria and spores are eliminated (the active ingredient does not leave behind residue and is 100% biodegradable, non-toxic, pH-neutral as well as skin- and eye-friendly)
  • And a multifunctional scarf with a filtering face-piece comes free with the lift pass


  • The ski slopes in Austria will not be closing
  • Tourism Minister Elisabeth Köstinger (ÖVP) makes the point that the virus does not spread on the ski slopes but mainly in closed indoor areas: “Das Virus verbreitet sich nicht auf den Skipisten, sondern vor allem auch in geschlossenen Innenräumen”
  • Ski lift openings: Oetz (11 Dec), Fieberbrunn (7 Dec), Ischgl (17 Dec), Leutasch cross-country started 20 November,  Sölden (11 Dec) and St Anton (18 Dec)

Please contact us today to discuss your visit to Tirol.

Google travel trends: closer to home, arrive by car and the outdoors

Recent Google data from the US has verified what we assumed was happening for a while: consumers have been cooped up since the pandemic started in March when travel searches fell sharply and now they want to get away, safely.

The source is Google Trends and Search Data U.S. but the parallels with key European markets are obvious e.g. Germany, Netherlands, UK, Belgium, Czech Republic.

This Summer has been a great success in Tirol for our operator with our owners’ apartments reporting rental income results >20% above expectation with September also looking positive.

German customers in particular feel comfortable travelling over the border into Austria by car: they can leave anytime, they want self-catering and they know that Tirol has only 395 confirmed infections and 108 deaths caused by the virus.

They can also find lots of nature and very few people: Tirol has a population density of 59 people per square kilometre versus Germany 232, Netherlands 521, England (UK) 424, Belgium 376, Czech Republic 135.

Here is a summary of the Google Trends and Search Data findings:

  • Searches for ski apartment (condo) rentals increased +40%
  • Tourists want outdoor destinations and travel options with more control
  • Hiking in national parks and wilderness areas are topping their lists
  • Searches in the category “winter travel destinations” grew by 30% year on year and “ski lodges and resorts” by 30% month over month
  • “The near outdoors” is 2020’s most popular destination

Ski lift companies publish C-19 safety plans for Winter

Many Austrian ski lift companies and Tourismusverbände have been working hard on their Covid-19 safety and compliance plans for Winter.

Here is the summary from Ischgl and Paznaun valley.  Seems well planned and reassuring.

  • Guests can be tested on arrival in the resort or present a test done in the last 72 hours
  • Tirol state government and University of Innsbruck are monitoring sewage works to identify any presence of the virus
  • Insurance: take out travel insurance with ‘Europäische Reiseversicherung’ which insures against Covid-19
  • A multifunctional scarf with a filtering facepiece comes free with the lift pass (see below)
  • Hand disinfection everywhere
  • Managing lift queues to keep distance between different parties
  • Disinfection of all cable cars several times a day using special cold fogging devices: within 1 minute 99.99% of viruses, bacteria and spores are eliminated (the active ingredient does not leave behind residue and is 100% biodegradable, non-toxic, pH-neutral as well as skin- and eye-friendly)
  • The same disinfection measures are carried out it in sports shops, ski depots, first aid stations and WCs and lifts
  • Mountain restaurants: spacing and partitions in use
  • All staff will be tested before they start work with follow-up tests thereafter
  • Après-ski will have a new format with more focus on quality!

Galtür: recognised health resort thanks to air purity

Even though the last few months were a challenge, the latest developments of the Coronavirus pandemic now show the situation has improved enormously.

Austria is one of those countries with the currently least infections and has been therefore able to loosen its lockdown conditions earlier.  Travel into the country has been possible without any further complications since 15 June and so the people working in hospitality are staying positive about the tourism this summer and are hopeful that it’ll mainly go uphill from now on. 

We currently have many German, Dutch/Belgian, Swiss and Czech tourists making their bookings for the Summer thanks to the following criteria which make them feel more comfortable with this type of holiday:

  • Arrive by car
  • State of the art kitchen in the apartment for self-catering
  • Fewer staff to make contact with
  • Greater social distancing
  • Lots of outdoor activity
  • Very low infection rates – there are currently 8 reported infections in the whole of Tirol
  • Floor to ceiling windows that allow the scenery to flood into your living room area.

Meanwhile, the Paznaun tourism office is working on a repositioning strategy for Ischgl that addresses the COVID outbreak and the reputation for too much partying which is long overdue: the focus should be on the quality of the skiing and being outdoors in nature. Galtür is after all an officially recognised health resort thanks to its air purity

We don’t foresee any negative impact on our rental projections as our serviced apartment business model supports social distancing and we will take bookings from the hotels for the foreseeable future.   These serviced apartments were already the fastest growing accommodation category in Austria with an 18% increase in bookings in Winter 2018 (source: Urlaub in Ferienwohnungen boomt but it is likely this trend will continue.

For everyone who wants to keep away from the busier holiday destinations in Austria and is craving a little more peace and a place to slow down: the picturesque climate health resort Galtür at the end of the charming Paznauntal in Tyrol is especially this summer season a recommendable destination.

Just 10 minutes from the renowned Ischgl, the quiet Galtür offers wonderful walks and hiking paths, mountain bike trails, climbing routes, lovely water springs and fresh reviving mountain air. Free from annoying pollen, Galtür has particularly clean air, which has shown positive effects on the human organism and has proven to be the perfect place for people who suffer from allergies. Magnificent landscape impressions, mountain and lake panoramas as well as untouched nature reserves awaken new energy and offer relaxation for body and mind.

Preparations for the start of the summer season in Galtür are in full swing and measures are taken by the local authorities and accommodations to ensure a safe and comfortable holiday. 

Keeping certain health guidelines further under control and considering the safety of locals and guests alike, regular cleaning and disinfection of public facilities, both indoors and outdoors, will be guaranteed and special attention paid to the latest social distancing regulations. 

All-inclusive Silvretta Card

Upon arrival one can pick up the free, all-inclusive Silvretta card and plan many exciting outdoor activities in the Paznaun valley. Offers at a reasonable price include cable cars and chairlifts, the Silvretta High Alpine Road, public transport, museums as well as indoor and outdoor pools. For children aged 5 -10 there is the Kids Club with a great entertainment program of alpine sports such as climbing, bouldering and hiking. Young people between the ages of 11 and 16 can take part in numerous fun activities in the Youth Club.

Still Waters Run Deep

The crystal clear, idyllic lakes of the Paznaun valley surrounded by mountain meadows or rock formations have something for everyone: No matter if you’re looking for challenging circular hikes (Koppsee-Zenisee & Wiegensee), mountain bike tours, climbing routes or just prefer to do some relaxed fishing, go swimming, cool off or arrange a lovely picnic. Ideal for a nice day trip with family or friends is a walk around the Silvretta reservoir (1,3km²) or a cozy barbecue in the evening at the high mountain lake Stafali pond surrounded by three stone grills. Other idyllic gems that mountain hikers should not miss out on are the Radsee in Galtür and the Wiegensee, a natural monument in the protected high moor landscape with a view of the Silvretta glacier peaks.

Galtür: An Alpine Idyll

Even the writer Ernest Hemingway recognised Galtür’s rustic charm and found inspiration in the beautiful landscape for his literary work between 1925 and 1926. Hemingway, who was extremely passionate about ski tours, enjoyed exploring the Silvretta mountain group whilst staying in Galtür. There, he also worked on his first novel The Sun Also Rises (Fiesta) and many short stories, including the pictorial narrative An Alpine Idyll which immerses the reader into the simple and spartan way of living in the high mountains of Galtür.  

Magnificent mountains

The Galtür cable car is now open from 03 July to 27 September 2020 and transports you up the mountain with breathtaking views over the Paznaun region. From 05 July the Birkhahnbahn will take you from Galtür to 2,050m above sea level for a challenging but not too difficult hiking experience. The adventure hike from Ischgl to the Idalp (2320m) including two over 100m long and 70m high suspension bridges (Kitzloch and Bärenfalle) is a fun day out for the whole family and even dogs can be brought along for this one. The Little Ballun is suitable for families with children (from 8 years) and offers a wonderful view of the Silvretta peaks. The difficulty level for that one was marked as easy, however, suitable equipment, previous hiking experience and a basic endurance can be of advantage. The high alpine adventure park Vider Truja by Lake Vidersee really isn’t an ordinary hiking trail.

In a playful way with water mills, climbing frames, a water playground and a water guiding system one can learn more about the versatile element of water. The Vider Truja is a perfect way to spend a day in hot weather and can either be reached via a 7.5 km hiking trail from Ischgl or comfortably with the Silvretta cable car. For all the experienced hikers out there we also recommend the Paznaun Höhenweg which can be completed in a few days and leads over 9 stages, 11,000 meters in altitude and 120km past alpine meadows and mountain lakes. For walking and hiking tours you need good equipment and stable (ideally ankle-high) footwear, sun protection, headgear and rainwear as well as a small energising snack and plenty of water are advisable. It is best to start early in the morning to avoid the midday heat and for very early risers, to admire the stunning sunrise. A good level of fitness is required for most (but especially for moderate-difficult) hiking trails. 

On cloud nine

With the SkyFly (03 July -13 September) you fly at 50m from the Silvretta middle station with up to 85km back to the Ischgl village centre. Side by side you can float into the valley on two ropes and share this special experience that boosts the adrenaline.

or those who prefer to stay on the ground we recommend a visit to the unique Alpinarium exhibition museum in Galtür. The clever and practical  architecture of the Alpinarium combines the building with the 345m long and 19m high avalanche protection wall. You can visit the permanent exhibition on the history of Galtür and its inhabitants plus other interesting exhibitions, photo galleries and multifaceted seminars. Directly at the Alpinarium you’ll also find Austria’s highest natural stone climbing wall (25m) and the bouldering area in Silvapark has around 160 natural stone boulders with 8 different sectors of all degrees of difficulty. Other exciting leisure and sport activities such as horse riding, rafting, canyoning, or even adrenaline-charged paragliding ensure a unique holiday experience in nature. The Silvrettabahn, Flimjochbahn, Flimsattelbahn, Alp Trider and Sattelbahn run from 03 July to 13 September. Other opening times of the mountain railways in surrounding villages are:

Ischgl:  3 July – 13 September 2020

Paznaun: 26 June – 27 September 2020

See: 26. June – 20 September 2020

Kappl: 3. July – 20 September 2020

Enjoy the wonderful Tyrolean hospitality and look forward to the perfect balance of eventful and relaxing days in the natural paradise of Galtür with clean mountain air.

All-Suite Resort Paznaun 

The All-Suite Resort Paznaun consisting of 46 apartments is located in an incredible location with breathtaking mountain views.  A spa including a heated 13m long outdoor panoramic pool, a restaurant and bar ensure a comfortable and relaxing stay. 

The professional operator All-Suite Resorts will rent and market the apartments for you and thanks to year-round tourism in the Paznaun alpine idyll strong returns can be generated here. 

Contact us today so we can register your interest in this project. We would also be happy to send you floor plans, prices and current availability and arrange a phone call to discuss the purchase process as well as financing options for tourism residences in detail.

Austrian border opens from Germany on 15 June

From 15 June, Austrian Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have agreed to open the border from Germany to Austria allowing other nationalities to pass more freely through Germany into Austria.

Currently, there are 53 people reported with the virus in Tirol.  3,370 people have recovered and sadly 107 people have died.

Restaurants in Tirol open today (15 May) and hotels open 29 May.

Site visits for Austrian property investors have already begun and we are making appointments for German and Swiss buyers.

Current water temperature in the Piburger See is 20°c

Area 47 opens fully on 26 June; the wakeboard area is already open at the weekends.