Scope of the DP TLMR

The DP Tourism and Leisure in Mountain Regions aims at exploring tourism and leisure development in mountain regions. As tourism research requires multidisciplinary expertise researchers from six research centers will analyze supply and demand patterns but also impacts of tourism and leisure development. The researchers try to understand how tourism and leisure interrelates and impacts major stakeholder groups (e.g. residents, local workforce, guests) but also natural resources in the Alps. Interdisciplinary research circles around eight research foci: Tourist’s travel behavior, local’s leisure demand, data management and optimization, sports and health offers in the mountains, weather and climate conditions, societal aspects of tourism, alpine space & spatial planning and finally, human resources in tourism and leisure industries. Learning from other disciplines to optimize and critically employ mixed research methods as well as intensified exchange of knowledge between senior researcher and our PhD students will help us to deal with the listed research topics in innovative ways and to increase the quality and quantity of tourism and leisure research at the University of Innsbruck.

Aim of the DP TLMR

The doctoral program TLMR aims at supporting our PhD students with excellent training and education in a dynamic interdisciplinary environment. By providing the opportunities and platforms to delve into other disciplines students can broaden their knowledge and their expertise in their respective research area. Furthermore, the doctoral program actively enables all members to initiate, develop and publish high-quality and innovative research in tourism and leisure. Based on their respective disciplinary background, researchers – PhD students, post-doc researchers and professors – are able to discuss and further elaborate interdisciplinary approaches. Communication platforms (social media, workshops, informal meetings, etc.) and co-working facilities are developed to foster an active knowledge exchange and enhancement.

What are the focus areas?

Focus 1. Tourists’ travel behavior:

  • How does customer sharing behavior change product development and consumption processes in tourism and leisure?
  • How do changes of tourist travel challenge transport infrastructure and mobility services?
  • How and to what extent can new mobility solutions attract the growing number of people living in big cities without owning a car or even not having a driving license, increase the number/share of tourist using public for travelling transport to and within Alpine destination and improve sustainability of tourist travel?

Focus 2. Locals’ Leisure demand:

  • What are the benefits of staging (touristic) sports events (e.g. Crankworx 2017-2018, World Cycling Championships 2018) for the local community?
  • What type of benefits (in case there is one) does theme parks and (sports) related tourism infrastructure (e.g. Area 47, Bike Parks in Ski regions) create for tourists and the local community?
  • What are the health-related impacts of the “Freizeitticket Tirol” for the local community?

Focus 3. Data Management and Optimization:

  • How can Linked Open Data be used to drive new forms of eCommerce in the touristic sector?
  • How do a methodology and tool support for effective and efficient annotation of touristic resources will look like?
  • What are the means required for a Tyrolian Touristic Knowledge Graph that captures all major data resources and entities in a Linked open Data Graph?

Focus 4. Sports and Health offers in the Mountains:

  • What type of sports and health program do tourists choose in their holidays in the Alps?
  • What are the key success factors for tourism operators in the health and sports tourism?
  • How does Alpine holiday impact health (perceptions) of tourists?
  • How does the health-related mobility in the tourist destination look like and how does this mobility differ from the one at home?

Focus 5. Climate and Weather Conditions:

  • What are the effects of weather conditions on tourist travel (choices and patterns) to and within Alpine regions?
  • What are promising approaches to make mountain tourism more resilient towards global (climate) change?
  • What is the carbon footprint of mountain tourism, and what can be done to make mountain tourism more “climate-friendly”?

Focus 6. Societal Aspects of Tourism and Leisure in the Alps:

  • How do local stakeholder groups (residents, local entrepreneurs, etc.) perceive Quality of Life (QoL) in relation to tourism development initiatives?
  • Are small and micro (family) businesses more sustainable than others? What are their drivers of sustainability?
  • What is the impact of local ownership of touristic infrastructure on local identity and cooperation with agriculture?

Focus 7. Alpine Space & Spatial Planning:

  • What are key drivers of changes in tourism development, and how can these drivers be addressed by spatial and regional planning?
  • How do new leisure and tourism trends impact spatial structures on a regional and on a destination level?

Focus 8. Human Resources in Tourism and Leisure Industries:

  • How do potential employees in tourism construct employer image in tourism?
  • How can small-sized structured tourism destinations attract qualified employees and therefore develop successful employer branding strategies?
  • How can tourism cope with older workforce, especially in demanding high-season periods?

Admission of new PhD students


The applicants have to be enrolled and registered at the University of lnnsbruck or the universities cooperating in the frame of the DP program. The main PhD supervisor and one co-supervisor are members of the DP with different research foci. To apply for the DP, an expression of interest in the form of an exposé (contents, time and finance plans) on the planned thesis topic has to be submitted to the executive board by the main supervisor. If the EB has no concerns about the feasibility of the PhD project, the executive board invites the PhD students to present their PhD concept and motivation for joining the DP in the frame of an “application-colloquium” (can be a part of another DP event) offered by the DP at least twice a year in case of pending applications. The final admission is decided by the executive board.

Funding options

Doktoratsstipendium aus der Nachwuchsförderung der Universität Innsbruck

https://www.uibk.ac.at/ffq/forschungsfoerderung/2019/dok.stips-2019_1.tranche/ausschreibung.html

Exzellenzstipendien für Doktoratskollegs (DK)

https://www.uibk.ac.at/ffq/forschungsfoerderung/2018/stipendien_dk/ausschreibung.html

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