Austria (German: Österreich), officially the Republic of Austria (German: Republik Österreich), is a landlocked East Alpine country in the southern part of Central Europe. It is composed of nine federated states (Bundesländer), one of which is Vienna, Austria's capital and its largest city. It is bordered by Germany to the northwest; the Czech Republic to the north; Slovakia to the northeast; Hungary to the east; Slovenia and Italy to the south; and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. Austria occupies an area of 83,879 km2 (32,386 sq mi) and has a population of nearly 9 million people. Tourism in Austria forms an important part of the country's economy, accounting for almost 9% of the Austrian gross domestic product. Austria has one guest bed for every six inhabitants, and boasts the highest per capita income from tourism in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. As of 2007, the total number of tourist overnight stays is roughly the same for summer and winter season, with peaks in February and July/August. In 2007, Austria ranked 9th worldwide in international tourism receipts, with 18.9 billion US$. In international tourist arrivals, Austria ranked 12th with 30.8 million tourists.
Austria is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe, attracting tourists not only in summer and winter - which in the mountain regions is almost as busy a season as summer - but also in the in-between seasons. Visitors are drawn particularly from neighboring Germany, as for them there is no language problem. It is the scenic beauties to be found in all the Alpine republic's provinces which are the main reason for inducing large numbers of tourists to spend their holidays in Austria year after year. But, in addition, Vienna (Wien), the historic capital, and the beautiful city of Salzburg, birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, are among the most popular tourist attractions the country has to offer. Austria is situated in the south-east of Central Europe. It is predominantly a country of upland areas and high mountains - the Eastern Alps occupying a good 60 per cent of the country's territory. The River Danube flows for about 350km/217 miles from west to east through the northern part of Austria. With an area of 83,855 sq.km/32,376 sq. miles Austria is one of the smallest countries in Europe. Austria has a cool temperate climate of an Alpine character, consistent with its position on the south-eastern edges of Central Europe and its mountainous terrain. Towards the east the climate takes on increasingly continental characteristics.