Multilingual Destination in Öztal near Innsbruck, Austria – On Sunday we visited Area47 in Öztal, Austria. We had been once before with a group of German speaking friends so it was interesting to experience this fantastic outdoor playground again, this time as part of an English speaking group.
Area47 is a great destination for locals and tourists alike. Open from late April to mid-October, visitors can enjoy rafting, canyoning, climbing, paragliding, swimming and lots more outdoor fun.
The multilingual experience was great from the word go. The website is in German and English and, although the German-English translation is not perfect, it is easily comprehensible and very informative. When booking and adding people to our group, I spoke to several different people on the phone in both English and German and they were all very helpful and friendly.
On the day, we checked out the English version of Area47’s website to get driving directions from Innsbruck. The English translation of the directions made our journey hassle free. This outdoor destination is very easy to find, located just 30 minutes from Innsbruck, Austria.
Navigating Area47 itself was also very easy thanks to the simple multilingual signage and names. The complex is quite large and split into several different areas. For example you go to the “Outdoor Area” for rafting but the “Water Area” for swimming. These simple but descriptive names were paired with images to make this extensive destination easy to navigate for English speakers and tourists of all nationalities.
We had booked to do rafting so we headed over to the Outdoor Area where we were paired with our rafting guides. We hadn’t specified that we wanted English speaking instructors so we were delighted when one was a native English speaker and the other was an Austrian who spoke excellent English. The people in our group who didn’t speak very good German found it a great comfort to hear the safety instructions in their native language.
The rafting was great fun and the guides were really passionate about the sport. Their enthusiasm helped make this a great experience and convinced us to start planning a repeat visit for next summer. This is a good example of how destinations can use communication between staff and visitors as a multilingual marketing technique to drive repeat business.
My only criticism of the rafting is that we were not offered a translation of the German terms & conditions that everyone had to sign before hitting the water. Having to sign something in a language that they did not understand left many members of our group worried and disconcerted. This created a negative start to the experience and could cause a loss of business in some circumstances.
After rafting we moved into the Water Area, which boasts a swimming lake with waterslides, beach volleyball and other great facilities. Adrenaline junkies can try slacklining across the lake, rock climbing above the lake or pulling spectacular ski, snowboard or bike stunts off the water ramp into the lake.
The Water Area kept us entertained for hours. Even on a day when plunging into the lake left you dancing to keep warm, we found ourselves racing up the steps to do one last slide. The staff in the Water Area were also friendly and spoke excellent English, making our visit stress free (except of course the heart stopping moment before plunging down the steepest waterslide) and thoroughly enjoyable.
We ate lunch in the self-service restaurant by the lake. The food was good and everything was prepared in front of us, making it easy for the non-German speakers in our group to order. However, there was no translation available of the more traditional dishes so most people in our party went for something they recognised, such as burgers or pizza. Had there been an English translation of the menu, the more adventurous members of our group may have been tempted to try something Austrian.
All in all, Area47 is a fantastic multilingual destination for Austrians and tourists alike. The activities were great fun, the facilities fantastic and the staff friendly. We are based in Innsbruck year round and will definitely be back next summer.