Get informed about the current PhD projects


Eva Posch: Re-thinking resilience at the interface of natural hazards and tourism: An agency-centred perspective

The overall aim of my PhD thesis is to enhance the understanding of tourism actors’ resilience to natural hazards in remote mountain regions in the Global South. My research introduces an agency-centred perspective on resilience to natural hazards thus challenging classical approaches to ‘measure resilience’ and its focus on benchmarking. Building on concepts from the disaster-risk and social-ecological system literature, I analyse the logic of existing agency arrangements in two case study regions in Nepal. I argue that local actors’ ability and willingness to cope, adapt and transform in the face of natural hazards is influenced by external factors as well as individual goals and trade-offs which are rooted in cultural worldviews, values and beliefs. Literature analysis and stakeholder interviews form the basis for quantitative surveys in the two research areas.

The PhD thesis is part of a project funded by the Austrian Academy of Science [more...].


Philipp Schlemmer: Sports tourism in alpine tourism destinations

The PhD thesis of Philipp Schlemmer deals with the development of alpine tourism destinations in Tyrol and more specifically the development of sport in alpine regions. Therefore surveys shall be conducted, exploring the various effects of physical activities in holidays on subjective wellbeing, its long-term effects, customer experience and satisfaction. Philipp analyzes the mobility of tourists in a holiday region versus the mobility in daily routine and its conjunction to health relevant aspects as well as determining physical activities as major drivers in holiday decision-making. Hence, the data will provide holistic insights to describe the importance of physical activities in tourism but also to constitute a platform for further product development.


Bartosz Bursa: Modeling the intra-destination travel behavior of tourists

The focus of my research lies on modeling the on-site travel behavior of visitors during their vacation stays. The necessary data is provided by a revealed preference survey in form of an activity-travel diary and complemented by land-use and historical weather data. I put a particular interest on joint travel and activity participation decisions within families and tourist groups as well as on the influence of weather, which have all not been recognized in the literature so far. With the use of Discrete Choice Analysis, I am working on identifying the relationships between various choice determinants (attributes of the alternatives as well as characteristics of the decision-makers) and decisions about destination, transport mode, activity types, time allocation and expenditures on travel among vacationers.


Robert Eller: Adoption of digital technologies

The PhD thesis of Robert Eller deals with the adoption of digital technologies on small medium sized enterprises (SME) and the corresponding impact on the business model. Digital technologies, such as Big Data, analytic tools, KI and online platforms change the economy and organizations. Several studies, qualitative and quantitative, explore the effects and relations of digital transformation behaviour of SME and the various effects caused by adoption of digital technologies. The data and analysis will provide a holistic insight into small medium sized enterprises and contribute to a deeper understanding of how digital technologies can provide a competitive advantage for SME.


Elisabeth Happ: Sport Business in Alpine Tourism Destinations – Analysing Factors of Competitiveness

The PhD thesis of Elisabeth Happ deals with location decision criteria of the sport industry in the Alps. While location decision criteria have been analysed a lot, there is a need to investigate soft factors influencing the decision-making process and do research on specific branches and geographic areas. In contrast to existing studies, this study provides holistic insights in factors influencing the location decision-making process of business to business sports industry companies, considering the hypothesis that sport is both commercially special and culturally unique. The Alps are a preferred location for companies in the sports industry offering winter sport and outdoor equipment. The Alps cannot score with cheap real estate, perfect transportation connection, and inexpensive labour costs, but obviously, other reasons explain why they are such attractive locations for companies in the sports industry. The findings contribute to the sport management literature by adding specific factors influencing location decision making in the sports industry and provide a new framework for management decisions.

Oleksandra Panasiuk: Methodology for Semantic Annotation

This PhD thesis aims to make the semantic annotation process more approachable, easy and consistent, improve the use of semantic vocabularies (especially and tailor them to specific needs in different application scenarios, as well as providing a higher quantity and quality of structured data.  My research is based on providing domain specifications, as design patterns for semantic annotation of data, with a focus on the tourism domain, and developing tools for creating and validating semantic annotations. It will give a possibility to provide complete and correct structure data, increase the online visibility of web resource and make the web content understandable to different automated agents (e.g. search engines, chatbots or personal assistant systems).




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