In the aviation and tourism industry there is an award or prize for pretty much everything and everyone. If you don't get one, you just give one to yourself. But who would think that the local garbage collector would be given a tourist award? This is what happened in the Austrian capital Vienna.
The first thought is what does a waste disposal company actually have to do with tourism? If you think about it for a moment, it becomes pretty clear, especially when you think of dirty streets and mountains of rubbish in many holiday destinations. Quite a lot, because tourists produce a lot of waste - be it empty plastic bottles, packaging or individually portioned mini jam packs in hotels. All of this must somehow be “created out of sight” again. This is exactly where garbage collection comes into play. In Vienna, for example, it ensures cleanliness and hygiene - often barely noticeable.
The tourism and leisure sector of the Vienna Chamber of Commerce decided this year that the activities of MA48, i.e. the Vienna garbage collection, should be honored. Section chairman Markus Grießler explains: “The work of MA 48 and its thousands of employees is indispensable for the success of Vienna as a tourism destination.”
Vienna is heading for a new annual record for overnight stays. A record that not only benefits the city's accommodation providers and taxes, but also many other industries: from catering to transport companies and cultural institutions to retail. Grießler: “You all benefit from every single guest who visits our city. And the guests come because Vienna enjoys an excellent image worldwide. As a cultural city, a congress metropolis and the most livable city in the world. The reason why Vienna is so inviting is also the cleanliness of the city. If you read through international travel forums, this is one of the most frequently mentioned points about Vienna.”
That's why, Grießler continues, the decision to award the tourism prize to MA 48 this year was an easy one: "If you look at how quickly the streets return after an event, for example after the Danube Island Festival, the New Year's Eve Trail or the Vienna Marathon are sparkling clean, then you can see how well the work is done here. The fastest marathon time ever was run in Vienna – if there was a rating for the fastest cleaning after a marathon, Vienna would be just as good.”