Tourism Office Suggests to “Avoid Religious Symbols in Holiday Apartments”

Country: Austria

Date of incident: October 17, 2006

According to the reports of, the business manager of the Office of Tourism in the municipality of Schruns/Tschagguns in Southern Tyrol, Manuel Bitschnau, asked landlords of 300 holiday apartments to remove religious symbols. This was done in the course of a program of “improvement” in the tourism sector. The reason he gave: people of religions other than Christian could feel offended.

Some of the landlords expressed their indignation at this restrictive recommendation.  Maria Berthold said: “We live in a Catholic country. Why should we deny it? This adaptation is going too far!” Bitschnau then qualified his former statements and apologized. It was never his intent to hurt religious feelings or even to urge anyone to deny his religious roots. Sources: Vorarlberg,