Austria has raised eyebrows by introducing an unconventional
incentive to promote its country-wide public transport scheme.
Festivalgoers are being offered a year of free public transport if they
get a tattoo reading 'KlimaTicket,' the name of the transportation
This unique campaign was spearheaded by Leonore Gewesseler, Austria's
Green MP and climate minister. She endorsed the initiative at the
Frequency Festival in St Pölten by donning a temporary tattoo herself.
The scheme operates through pop-up tattoo parlors that have appeared
at various events this summer. Attendees are invited to tattoo
'KlimaTicket' in exchange for a free year of Austria-wide train travel.
Visitors at the events where the tents were present were given the
chance to choose from various tattoo designs related to public
transport, sustainability, and climate change, without any cost.
Campaign organisers note that approximately 10 individuals per day at
each festival have participated.
Nevertheless, the opportunity for complimentary train travel was
restricted to the initial three individuals who received the KlimaTicket
design at each occurrence. While the promotion has been embraced by
some, it hasn't been without its share of controversy.
Critics argue that encouraging young adults to get tattoos for a
transportation ticket is questionable behaviour. Social media users have
expressed concerns about the campaign's impact on youth. Some have
accused Gewesseler of exploiting young people's skin for political
Despite the criticism, Gewesseler defends the campaign, stating that
it was executed with care. She highlights that the tattoos are offered
only to individuals over 18 and during daylight hours. She also notes
that most of those who participated already had tattoos.
The scheme has garnered mixed reactions, with some labelling it
"sustainably stupid" while others praise it for creativity. The company
selling the climate ticket reports positive feedback from festivals.
However, the future of this eyebrow-raising campaign remains uncertain,
as no more events are planned for the year, and its continuation in 2024
is yet to be confirmed.