Press release 16.12.2021

The region's best idea: Regional Innovation Award for "Gesäuse Climbing Guidebook


Admont (15.12.2021). For the third time, the Gesäuse Partner Network awarded the Innovation Prize for the most innovative and best idea in the region. First place went to Jürgen Reinmüller and Andreas Hollinger with the "Gesäuse Climbing Guide". In addition to second and third place in the innovation prize, another honorary prize was awarded.

"The Climbing Guide Gesäuse combines alpine climbing with nature conservation content in a unique way, because climbing ban zones and voluntary no-climbing zones in the Gesäuse National Park are also pointed out. The ascents and descents are guided by ecological considerations," Jürgen Reinmüller, a state-certified mountain and ski guide from Admont, describes the special submission. 1,040 and thus all climbing routes and variants documented since the beginning of alpinism in the Gesäuse were written down in the work, including topo sketches. The publisher of the book is the Admont Mountain Rescue Service, which thus already contributes to increasing safety in alpine terrain when climbers are planning their tours. But not only that, because by documenting all the routes in the Gesäuse in detail, the climbing guide also wants to ensure overnight stays and thus also contribute to soft tourism in the region.

Second place went to the Community garden Ardning. Herbert Wölger, National Park Director, was pleased in his laudation at the award ceremony that much more than just vegetables grow in a community garden: it creates a community for the exchange of knowledge between generations. The jury particularly emphasised the sustainability and social relevance of the project. The Ardning community garden is a meeting place for young and old and thus for everyone who is interested in the sustainable cultivation of fruit and vegetables.

The hand-forged prize in bronze was won by the Guest House ZeitRaum in Admont. The guesthouse, which has now been in operation for a year, is evidence of a lively gastronomy and accommodation sector in the region, says a delighted Uli Matlschweiger, restaurateur and sector spokesman for the Gesäuse partners, who presented the award to Daniela Noichl-Dirninger from Admont. At the ZeitRaum guesthouse, hospitality is a top priority and sustainability is not just a buzzword, it is consciously lived out.


Award for the Gesäuse Lifework  

But that is not enough of the prizes. Since 2019, not only has the Gesäuse Innovation Prize been awarded annually, but the Gesäuse Ambassador has also been honoured. The Gesäuse Ambassador award draws on the honouring of a life's work and tireless commitment to the Gesäuse region. This year a visibly moved Günter Planitzer, confectioner from Admont, was delighted to receive this special recognition. "Oliver Gulas-Wöhri, Managing Director of the Steirische Eisenwurzen Nature and Geopark, thanked Günter Planitzer, the Gesäuse Ambassador, with these words: "To a professional runner in all areas of life who, as the former chairman of the Gesäuse Tourism Association from 2014 to 2021, made a lasting contribution to regional development and significantly brought the region forward. Planitzer will cherish the ring of honour with the Gesäuse logo, which was forged for him and which was given to Reini Reichenfelser and Paul Guttmann before him, and will keep it in front of his eyes every day when baking "Gesäuse croissants" in the bakery of the Stockhammer confectionery.

The Presentation of the Gesäuse Innovation Award was broadcast via livestream on Facebook and YouTube in compliance with Covid-19 security measures. Provincial Councillor and jury member Ursula Lackner congratulated the winners via video message and Eva Stiermayr, Managing Director of the Liezen Regional Management and Armin Forstner, Mayor of the municipality of St. Gallen also offered their warm congratulations via video message. The Assessment of the submitted projects was carried out by a 9-member expert jury consisting of representatives of politics and business, institutions in the region and industry representatives of the Gesäuse partners. "The jury assessment was difficult for me to decide, as each idea was unique and prepared with a lot of heart and soul. For me, every participant is a winner!" explains Member of the Provincial Parliament and jury member Armin Forstner, who has also taken on the sponsorship for the Gesäuse Innovation Award.

Four Criteria were important for the assessment: degree of innovation, economic or social relevance, regional relevance and sustainability. Private individuals, companies, associations and schools based in the Gesäuse tourism region were eligible to apply for the Innovation Award - regardless of whether they were Gesäuse partner companies or not. The important thing is that the innovation has an impact within the region. The hand-forged prizes were made by the Palfau art smith and Gesäuse partner from the very beginning, Wolfgang Scheiblechner, who also had the special honour of presenting the golden prize.


Enquiries and contact. 

Stefanie Weissensteiner, MA
Press and PR
m: +43 664 101 52 37


Marco Schiefer, MSc 

Gesäuse National Park, Gesäuse Partner and Communication


+43 664 82 52 309


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