An Austrian village of Sankt Corona am Wechsel has to reconsider its tourism campaign, its mayor said on 22nd March. This step has to be taken due to the new coronavirus pandemic, that has drawn unwanted attention.
They were initially amused by its homonymy with the coronavirus but are now thinking of reviewing its tourism marketing embodied by a small mascot whose name too reminds that of the coronavirus. Michael Gruber, its mayor, said that they smiled at first to see a virus named like the village, however, jokes have stopped since the epidemic became so serious.
Their tourism mascot, named "Corona", is an ant sporting traditional garb, that is featured on pamphlets and other information for tourists, and because of this, they will have to consider changing the name of their mascot, since the name 'Corona’, is the name of the pandemic that has globally taken a toll on people’s lives.
The name Saint Corona infuriates the Austrian tourist village. Thus, Gruber reportedly told the media that they will have to find a new name for their mascot to welcome tourists.
Ecotourism in Austria forms an important part of the country's economy, accounting for almost 9% of the Austrian gross domestic product, as per reports. The village of some 400 people, lying some 100 kilometres (60 miles) south of Vienna at the foot of the Alps, has Ecotourism as the main source of revenue.
The attractions in the village that are named after the Catholic saint Corona, include summer sledging and mountain biking. Whereas, summer tobogganing, mountain biking, motor skills, the activities that were newly developed by St.Corona have been stopped, on the eve of the resumption of the season.
Michael Gruber told the media that he is optimistic that when the crisis is over, people would probably go less far than before to spend more time in places near their homes. He is sure that to bear the same name as a virus, will have no influence on attendance in his village in the long term.
Austria has recorded more than 3,900 cases of the new coronavirus so far, with 21 deaths. The country of some nine million people has passed strict measures in order to restrict the movement of people to prevent the spread of the virus.