Tourism Research

Vision & Mission - Based on the vision “Leading in Mountain Tourism Management”, applied tourism research at MCI investigates the dynamic interaction of the major agents in tourism (customer, family business and destination) to strengthen the sustainable competitiveness of tourism in the alpine environment.



The motivation to travel is subject to changes in social values. The “new” tourist is characterized mainly by more extensive experience, new ideals, an altered lifestyle and greater independence and flexibility. Traditional multi-dimensional motivational categories, such as “tranquility”, “relaxation” or “nature”, are increasingly combined with experiential components. These include “adventure”, “activity”, “pleasure” and “culture”. Today’s travel and consumer behavior in the alpine region differs greatly from that of previous generations and, therefore, requires comprehensive analysis. Based on this analysis, customer-oriented decisions can be made. MCI tourism research is specifically concerned with the following questions:

  • What expectations and needs do visitors have of a holiday experience in the alpine region? What patterns of behavior do they exhibit?
  • What are the central success factors in alpine winter sports? How do demand patterns and value creation develop?



Tourism businesses are generally small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Some of them are also micro-enterprises, which are subject to special conditions. More than 92 percent of all companies in the tourism and leisure industry have less than ten employees on average. In the hotel industry, these are more than 72 percent of all companies. Due to the small company size and the high level of interaction between employee and customer, here, the entrepreneur plays a key role.
The majority of SMEs in the tourism industry are family-run businesses. The family system influences business decisions in all respects. Business principles no longer have top priority. Strategic decisions and internal processes, as well as the provision of services, are all shaped by specific patterns. From these patterns, we can also deduce many advantages of family-owned tourism companies.
Family businesses are in fact the backbone of the Tyrolean tourism industry, and are, therefore, the focus of tourism research at MCI. On the supply side, the quality of individual service providers determines the competitiveness and success of a tourist region. In this regard, the following questions are of central importance:

  • Which factors influence the working environment in tourism? What role do entrepreneurial leaders play in this context?
  • What are the challenges of business succession in family-owned businesses? What distinguishes a successful business handover?
  • Which dimensions influence the innovation behavior in family businesses? How can they position themselves strategically?
  • To which extent does digital change affect family businesses? How do family businesses respond to thus resulting opportunities and challenges?



Tourism companies are usually part of a tourist value chain and, therefore, service partners in the destination. The value to be created is produced by a large number of companies. The term “destination” describes the target area relevant to a specific target group. It includes sufficient and necessary facilities for accommodation, catering, entertainment, etc. A destination is, therefore, the actual competitive unit in tourism that must be managed strategically. On the supply side, the quality of destinations is decisive for the competitiveness and success of a tourist region. Besides service providers in a destination, the local population also plays a central role in the sustainable development of such. The following questions are dealt with as part of destination research at MCI:

  • Which indicators can be used to measure and compare the performance of a destination?
  • Which internal and external factors influence the development of alpine destinations?
  • How can alpine destinations position themselves through marketing measures and brand management?
  • What contribution does tourism make to the creation of regional value?
  • In how far does digital change influence destination management? What are the opportunities and challenges arising for alpine destinations?
Hubert J. Siller
Prof. Mag. Hubert J. Siller Head of Department & Studies +43 512 2070 - 3300
Further Information
Mountain Tourism Management

Mountain Tourism Management

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