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A good tradition: DGT-ITB Studies Prizes for the next generation of researchers

The four prize winners holding their prizes.

The prizewinners were visibly delighted to receive their awards

How effective are influencers, how loyal are guests to a particular hotel brand, how can business travel be made climate-neutral? The next generation of researchers from German-speaking countries have investigated these issues and their efforts are being acknowledged at ITB Berlin. The DGT-ITB Studies Prize, which is being awarded this year for the 30th time, is considered to be the most important such award in the field of tourism research in German-speaking countries. This year’s winners received their awards during a ceremony on Wednesday afternoon on the Hybrid Stage at ITB Berlin.

Prof. Dr. Markus Pillmayer introduced the four winners, and speeches in praise of the winners were given by Prof. Dr. Jürgen Schmude, president of the DGT (German Society for Tourism Studies), DGT vice president Prof. Dr. Anna Klein and Univ.-Prof. Dr. Ralf Roth from the German Sports Academy Cologne. Supporting the new generation of researchers is one of the central tasks of the DGT, according to its president Prof. Schmude. This year a total of 38 entries were submitted, which were evaluated in a double-blind review process.

In this event at ITB Berlin each of the winners not only received a copy of the travel guide book Baedeker Handbuch für Schnellreisende, but also 1,000 euros in cash. This was donated by the Swiss tourism expert Hanna Rychener Kistler and the tour operator Studiosus. Studiosus also funded a thesis on the subject of Sustainability in Tourism. The jury awarded the prize in the Sustainability category to Adrian Müller of the University of St. Gallen, for his cumulative dissertation on the subject of “Decarbonisation of the Business Travel Market”.

The winner in the Dissertation section, Florian Gasser, also came from the University of St. Gallen. His doctoral thesis under the heading of “Post it, Like it, Share it, and Profit?” examined the impact of influencers in tourism. Jan-Patrick Teichman from the Management Center Innsbruck was the winner of the best master’s thesis, on the subject of “Loyalty Programmes in the Hotel Sector“, in which he investigated the influence of barriers to change on brand loyalty, which also involved conducting numerous interviews.

The best bachelor thesis was by Patrizia Pluskota, University of Munich, who investigated the subject of Intellectual Property in Theme Parks – and who came to the conclusion that self-created IPs could be a more advisable approach than licensed IPs. The DGT-ITB Studies Prize is being awarded again next year.