The big date was November 2010: Grossarltal, with its two villages – Grossarl and Hüttschlag – was the first region in Salzburg province and only the second region in all of Austria to be awarded the Austrian Hiking Seal of Quality. Clear evidence, then, of the competency of our “Valley of Mountain Huts” in all aspects of hiking.
In order to earn and keep this prestigious recognition, the valley is subject to stringent inspections aimed at maintaining and constantly improving hiking experiences within the area.
In order to achieve certification, candidates must meet a battery of stringent criteria focusing on different aspects of the hiking experience:
- Hiking specialists available at lodging establishments
- The individual hiking paths
- Communities in the region
- The entire hiking experience
- The infrastructure
- The overall tourism opportunities
- Signs along the hiking paths as well as in towns
- Hiking buses
- Trail heads
- The region as a whole
The seal of quality is awarded by the “Association for Quality Assurance of Hiking in Austria”. This is a joint project involving Austria’s Hiking Villages, European Hiking Hotels, TAO-Beratungs- & Management Gmbh and Alpines Wandermanagement GmbH. The Association also cooperates closely with map publisher Freytag & Berndt as well as Joanneum Research Forschungsgesellschaft mbH in Graz.