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Mountain Tourism

``The art and science of asking questions is the source of all knowledge``

(Thomas Berger)

Reconsidering tourism work


Tourism is one of the most dynamic economic sectors worldwide, however, it faces severe labor shortages due to unfavorable working conditions. As result, there is increasing cultural diversity within the tourism workforce, especially in industrialized countries. Yet, organizations become more and more aware that they need to invest in their employer image in order to attract and retain qualified employees. For that purpose, human resource management (HRM) starts to get more professionalized in the many small and medium sized enterprises of the industry. In particular, there is growing interest in strategic HRM practices such as employer branding or talent management for enhancing employer attractiveness.
Despite this rising awareness, concepts for improving working conditions, for the integration of foreign workers and for the wellbeing of tourism employees remain scarce. This workshop invites empirical and theoretical contributions advancing our understanding of tourism work and its sustainable management.

  1. How do employees make sense of (decent) work in the tourism industry?
  2. How can tourism and hospitality organizations professionalize their HRM practices?
  3. What are key challenges for the management of a highly mobile and culturally diverse workforce?
  4. What are contemporary career paths in the tourism industry? What is the role of ‘new career models’?
  5. How do guest-employee interaction shape tourism work experiences?

Coordinated by: Tanja Petry

A network perspective
of tourism destinations: A DMO & Enterprise-Perspective

In many rural areas, tourism has become a major economic factor. In cities, the effects of tourism development become prevalent in the everyday life of local inhabitants and sometimes also evoke conflicts. In both cases, there is need for action from a destination development perspective. In times of increasing global competition, destinations focused on tourism performance and aimed to secure competitiveness in international markets. At the same time, sustainable developments gained traction and challenged existing structures and practices of tourism destinations.
In this context, governance can be understood as a powerful tool to better conceptualize tourism destinations and stakeholder involvement sets an agenda for novel questions. This includes the changing structures of destination management organizations (DMOs) which offer services not exclusively to their members but to a broader group of stakeholders. It also addresses tourism enterprises jointly taking responsibility for a future oriented regional development. Stakeholder engagement has become an imperative for tourism destinations when it comes to secure future sustainable development. For example, local residents are frequently best informed about local conditions. However, new players enter and others withdraw and challenge destination- and stakeholder management.
These two workshops aim to discover how destinations and networks handle changing environments and explore theories that help in understanding destinations. They invite empirical and theoretical contributions advancing our understanding of tourism destinations in the interplay of public management, destination governance, entrepreneurship and joint responsibility.

Coordinated by: Bernhard Bichler & Daniel Zacher

Workshop A: Changing
roles of DMOs


Workshop A addresses the changed role of DMOs and other tourism-planning related organizations that need to rethink quantitative paradigms in times of overtourism.
  1. What are present and future challenges in managing destinations?
  2. What theories and methods help us to gain deeper insights?
  3. How can we involve tourism practitioners in research – what are challenges and success factors?
  4. How to gain research questions from practitioners’ perspectives?

Workshop B: Responsibility
of DMOs


Workshop B addresses the responsibility of DMOs and enterprises to develop new strategies in times of raised social and environmental awareness and seeks to determine the role of stakeholders in this process (e.g. joint responsibility, community involvement).
  1. How to handle stakeholder participation/engagement?
  2. What are the responsibilities of enterprises in destination development?
  3. What are challenges to collaboration and what is of joint responsibility?

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