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Tourism & Hospitality Management: Theory meets practice

June 2, 2021
Kirschengenussquelle Breitenbrunn
„Kirschen-Genussquelle Breitenbrunn“ © Andrea Strohmayer
Präsentation im Kirschengarten
Presentation in cherry orchard © Andrea Strohmayer

THM specializations remain practice-oriented in the 2021 summer semester

The restrictions surrounding COVID-19 also made the summer semester of 2021 exciting once again for our specializations. In addition to theoretical input, the focus of these courses is on direct exchange with the industry. Our lecturers were innovative against all odds and organized numerous alternative insights into tourism practice.

In the specialization “Hotel Management” TMBA2, Arian Röhrle presented the Seehotel Schlierseer Hof in Schliersee, Germany and Jakob Köpenick, FOM the La Reserve Eden au Lac, Zurich, Switzerland on virtual tours. Brigitte Trattner, GM of the Intercontinental Wien gave exciting insights on the topic of leadership in the hotel industry and the current challenges around COVID-19. In the 6th semester RateBoard GmbH brought our students closer to the topic of revenue management from a practical perspective. During the presentation of marketing plans for the hotel industry, which were also held virtually in small groups, the expert jury (Lecturer Günter Reiterlehner and Raoul Gransier, Managing Director at Gransier & Associates, a consultancy for the hospitality tourism & leisure sector) provided feedback.

In the specialization „Event Management“, the organizers of the Surf World Cup Neusiedl am See, KGP Events, catering entrepreneur Andreas Fuith of „Die Festwirte“ and Alexander Gratz, Wiener Rotes Kreuz, Competence Center Event Safety Management inspired with their practical input

The 6th semester in the specialization “Gastro- und Kulinarikmanagement” was all about sensory analysis. Sensory and food pairing seminars were conducted virtually by lecturer Elisabeth Buchinger, without further ado and with perfect logistics from markta. Karin Lobner from gefühlskü analyzed the psychology of the guest together with the students. Bernhard Hiehs, Derenko GmbH introduced the students to the topic of interior design and project development in gastronomy and Martin Hablesreiter from Honey and Bunny approached the topic of food design with the students from a completely new perspective. Prof. Byron Marlowe from Washington State University Tri-Cities used his stay in Vienna for a virtual excursion on the topic of “terroir”. The easing of the weather in May then even allowed an excursion to “Kirschen-Genussquelle” in Breitenbrunn. In addition to a lot of information about the local cherries (the so called “Leithaberger Edelkirsche”) and a tasting of regional products, the final presentations also took place outdoors in the cherry orchard.  In the 2nd semester, the focus was clearly on the basics of gastronomy management. Adi Bittermann, Restaurant & Vinothek Bittermann Vinarium Göttlesbrunn impressed with his gastronomic experiences and Gregor Corbaci gave insights into the new takeover of “Die Halle” in the MQ.

Although the travel industry itself faces numerous challenges, many experts have not hesitated to share their knowledge and experience with young tourism professionals, even in times of crisis. The first to do so was Yasmin Aziz-Trebesiner, Head of Human Resources Development & Recruiting at Verkehrsbüro Group. She gave the students an exciting insight into the diverse areas of responsibility of Austria’s market leader in the hotel industry as well as in leisure and business tourism. Michael Rettenegger vividly explained the cooperation with tour operators and/or travel agents from the perspective of the airline industry. The role of cable cars as general service providers on the mountains and current challenges were comprehensively prepared for the students by Peter Winkler and Ricarda Rubik from the Austrian Cable Car Association. Thomas Brüggl and Alice Gafitanu from Eurotours International, on the other hand, gave the students an interesting online lecture on the tasks and areas of activity of incoming tourism, using Eurotours as an example. Ruud Klerks, Area Manager of the Austrian market leader, Europäische Reiseversicherung professionally explained the product travel insurance and its customer benefits to our students in a webinar. On the subject of Conventions/Incentives/Messe & Corporate Travel, Gerald Stainoch from Reed Messe Wien gave our students a fascinating insight into his working environment with a virtual excursion to Messe Wien. Austria Guide Barbara Wolflingseder not only provided exciting information on urban mobility with her virtual city tour “From the Hired Litter to the Taxi”, but also gave the students an understanding of the job description of a tour guide. The highlight of this semester, however, was a project for Airport City Vienna: a sales analysis for the premises in Office Park 4. To everyone’s delight, the project briefing could take place on site. The elaborations were then presented virtually. The people in charge were enthusiastic about the results.

In the second semester of the specialization Congress and Meeting Management basic skills were taught in a varied blended learning concept by lecturer Michaela Schedlbauer-Zippusch, Austrian Convention Bureau (ACB). The 6th semester was all about congress planning. Numerous guest lecturers supported the students with their expert input: Lukas Zenk, Innovation and Network Research, Danube University Krems, worked with the students on the topic of meeting design. Florian Fehringer, Director of International Projects at Mondial, gave a lecture on the topic of sponsoring & exhibition. Sarah Staudinger, Sales Manager, Messe Wien Exhibition & Congress Center discussed the topic of location & green meetings with the students and Christian Mutschlechner provided information on current developments in the meeting industry.

Many thanks for the many exciting business insights into the currently challenging, professional everyday life and the lively discussions. Finally a big thank you to our dedicated team of lecturers Gaby Tragschitz-Köck, Michaela Schedlbauer-Zippusch, Kathrin Hoffmann, Martin Egger, Hani El-Sharkawi, Günter Reiterlehner, Elisabeth Buchinger, Andrea Strohmayer and Manfred Ronge.