It was a historic moment when Vienna’s mayor Michael Ludwig and owner Nora Lamac set Vienna’s giant ferris wheel in motion again, sending an important message to the world – that life in Vienna and Vienna’s economy are picking up pace.
The giant ferris wheel, the emblem which represents the city and its lifeblood – tourism – has turned continuously since the end of the Second World War and had to be switched off in mid-March 2020, for the first time in 75 years, due to coronavirus. Finally, the day arrived when, on Friday 29 May 2020, at 12 noon on the dot, Nora Lamac, whose family has operated the ferris wheel for generations, and Vienna’s mayor Michael Ludwig, pressed the giant ferris wheel’s start button, setting Vienna’s emblem in motion again after 75 days at a standstill.
Opening event: “Stream in the Sky”
On the day before, musicians living in Vienna sent a musical message of optimism and hope during an event streamed online in the virtual world. A stage was created on a platform set up specifically for this purpose, which the artistes used to send their musical greeting to the virtual world from a dizzying height.
Vienna is open
In Vienna shops, bars and museums have been open again for some days or weeks, and accommodation and leisure businesses opened again on Friday 29 May 2020. In 2019, 135,000 visitors from the Gulf States spent a total of 325,000 nights in Viennese hotels. This summer from the Arabian Gulf States a connection flight is planned from July 1, 2020. At Vienna Airport it is possible to take a molecular biological Corona / Covid-19 test (PCR test). The result is available within about 3 hours.
Vienna’s mayor Michael Ludwig says:
“The ferris wheel is turning again in Vienna, hotels are opening up and life is slowly returning. What rankings such as those from Mercer or The Economist have shown for years has once again been proved – Vienna is a safe, functioning city, where life is worth living, well able to cope with challenging situations.”
Owner of Vienna’s giant ferris wheel Nora Lamac:
“Before coronavirus, the giant ferris wheel was in continuous operation for 75 years. When the ferris wheel ceases to turn, life itself stands still. Today is therefore a very emotional moment for me and my family. The fact that the wheel has started to turn again today gives hope – not only to me, but to the whole of Austria and to everyone who has had a hard time in recent months.”
Vienna’s Director of Tourism Norbert Kettner:
“At this time the giant ferris wheel is more symbolic than anything else could be of a fresh start for the city. The fact that it is turning again is a very hopeful sign. We are delighted that we will be able to welcome visitors from Austria to Vienna with immediate effect, and visitors from other parts of the world very soon and promise that Vienna still has much to offer this year, despite social distancing the no or low-touch economy.”