Archive: EMTM Master Programme

Photoshoot with Adventure Cycling Association

For three months I was working and collaborating with Adventure Cycling Association – America’s leading Bicycle Travel Experts on my master thesis about: ‚Co-Designing a human-centered cycling tourism experience‘. One day Saara Snow – Travel Initiatives Coordinator – asked me if I would like to go on a photoshoot with them. My answer: ‚Yes. For sure!‘ and I thought: What a nice relief from sitting in front of the computer all day writing my thesis. From Missoula, Montana where Adventure Cycling’s headquarter is based we drove out a couple of miles into the Bitteroot Valley to get some nice photographs. After living in Montana there is one thing I can say for sure: No matter where you go you’ll always find the most amazing and stunning scenery!


Thanks Adventure Cycling & Saara Snow for these beautiful pictures, memories, and my first photoshoot on a bicycle.

photo credit @ Saara Snow, Adventure Cycling.

Bicycle Tourism Research

>>>> To all touring cyclists – I need your help – Please participate in my research study & let’s push bicycle travel forward. Thanks, Franziska <<<<


For my last semester of the European Master in Tourism Management, I was invited as a research scholar to the U.S. to conduct my research on Bicycle Travel. The focus of the research is on: Designing a human-centered bicycle tourism experience. It’s about understanding people’s past / present experiences on bicycle travel in order to inform how these experiences can be enhanced in the future and make bicycle travel more meaningful and memorable to touring cyclists.


The Research Target: All touring cyclists who have been / or currently are on a self-supported long-distance bike tour – at least a week or longer.


I need a total of 100 to 200 participants – so please, help to spread the word. The survey will be open until May, 15th.


>>>> You can fill in the survey directly beneath – just scroll down – or click on the following link: Online Survey on Bicycle Travel <<<<


Lots of thanks & happy cycling, Franziska.

Create your own user feedback survey

HoodRide: Living in a Shipping Container

The decision was made: I’m gonna spend my last semester of the European Master in Tourism Management in Phoenix, Arizona studying at Arizona State University (ASU). The pending question: Where to stay? Checking AirBnB, the first thing that caught my attention was the offer from Cindi and Derrick, who are the owners of the local bike shop -HoodRide- and offer shipping containers for stay. Bicycles, Community Vibes & a totally different sleeping experience sounded perfect to me. And here I am: in the middle of the Artistic District in Phoenix Downtown, surrounded by a community of creative & amazing people, enjoying my experience to live in a shipping container with an outdoor bathroom, where you can watch the stars while taking a shower in the middle of the US’s 6th largest city. A happy day and come by to visit!

Everyday here is a new source of inspiration.

European Master in Tourism Management (EMTM), 4th

Time to say goodbye! 1.5 years of staying together in our EMTM family came to an end. Thanks for all the laughter, great memories, each one’s uniqueness and for being my friends. It was an honour to get to know you and you will always stay in my heart.


The last semester of our Masters Program, is individual for all of us. There are mainly two options during this time: either we could stay with a partner university inside (Denmark, Slovenia, Spain) and outside Europe (USA, India, China, Brazil), or to look for an internship / job opportunity worldwide. In September 2015, we hopefully all meet again, for our graduation ceremony in Girona, Spain. Can’t wait to hear everyone’s story.


Personally, I am invited as a research scholar, to work on my thesis at the W.P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University, in Phoenix. From March on I will stay in the US for around six months to work on my thesis: ‚Designing a human-centered bicycle tourism experience.‘, asking the question: ‚How can one design human-centered cycling tourism experiences for touring cyclists?‘. My aim is to understand how people experience their cycling trips in order to inform how these experiences can be enhanced.


Bicycle tourism is making a comeback and is a proven catalyzer for economic and sustainable development for rural communities and small towns. To attract touring cyclists one needs to design cycling experiences that costumers want and are meaningful to them. The goal of my research is to uncover user needs and desires and articulate them. It is anticipated that a co-design approach seems well suited to this need, wherein relevant solutions emerge from a social, or participatory, process that brings user perspectives to bear, leading to a deeper insight and a series of conclusions as how to best support human-centered cycling tourism experiences.


Keep on cycling everybody!

Tastes of Autumn – Costa Brava

The Costa Brava, where I’m currently living, is mainly known for its beautiful coastline and of course for Barcelona. Since arriving in Girona by early September, I had the chance to discover the beauty of this region without the mass tourism during the summer months. And what I can definitely say: Visit the Costa Brava and discover the beautiful tastes of autumn! This region has a lot more to offer than for what it is famous: Cultural festivals like the St. Narcis Festival in Girona, Hikes around lakes and forests dyed in shiny autumn colors, Small cozy towns like Besalu, Begur and Cadaqués. It’s the diversity which surprises me everyday: From wild coastlines, to historical towns with stunning architecture to high mountain ranges – Catalonia has it all!


When talking to people, I realized that barely anyone has heard of Girona before or only because it is the Ryanair airport for Barcelona. For all of you flying to Girona to visit Barcelona, from now on take your time and come to Girona – this town is just very special! It’s markets, cathedral, cozy squares, beautiful walks along the city wall, small boutique shops and its relaxed atmosphere. Without the rush of larger cities you will enjoy yourself by strolling around and inhale its unique atmosphere.

Mercy Girona for this warm-hearted welcome.

European Master in Tourism Management (EMTM), 3rd

In 2010 EMTM became an Erasmus Mundus master course making it to the list of European master and doctoral programs of excellence. Since September 2014, we are enrolled at the University of GironaFaculty of Tourism in Spain, Catalonia. After having gathered an advanced knowledge on sustainable tourism concepts and policy strategies, the third semester is devoted to fully analyze the actual and effective implementation by private businesses, public administrations and public-private partnerships.

From September 2014 to January 2015 the EMTM master students attend the following courses: Local tourism destination development, Cultural tourism in urban destination, Customer management in tourism, Partnership and network management in tourism, Innovation and new product development, Contractual arrangements in the management of tourism and Introduction to master thesis. The third semester challenges students in practical implementation of previously learned theoretical knowledge with a main focus on innovation, product and destination development strengthening the strategic importance of partnerships, collaboration and networks for long-term success in tourism.

I feel sLOVEnia.

I feel Slovenia! Or, the only country with the word LOVE in its country name! This is how Slovenia nowadays is promoting themselves as a country or tourism destination to the foreign markets. From its independence in 1991 it was quite some work for the Tourism Board to change its negative image due to Yugoslavian war time and to build up an own and unique brand. Often confused with Slovakia (similar flag), Slovenian tourism & marketing representatives did an amazing job to promote the country’s unique treasures through a well-elaborated and coherent brand & tourism strategy attracting more than 3 million tourists in 2012. Compared to Slovenias overall population of only 2 million people this number is even more impressing. Slovenia is well-located within central Europe neighbouring with Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia. With a surface of only 20,273km² the country is about the same size as the German Federal States: Hessen or Sachsen-Anhalt. „Green“ forms the core of the Slovenian brand identity and is regarded as the „national colour“ of Slovenia by Slovenes themselves. „Slovene green“ stands for intact nature and the focus to keep it that way, for lifestyle equilibrium and an orientation towards nature. Slovenia: Green, Active, Healthy!


What makes me love Slovenia? It is the wilderness, the nature, a crystal-blue of its rivers I never saw before, the blooming trees in spring, the countryside, the fact that everyone even in the city of Ljubljana has a small garden growing its own vegetables & fruits and the beautiful capital Ljubljana.

Slovenia for me is wild, romantic and inspiring and definitely worth a visit!

European Master in Tourism Management (EMTM), 2nd

In 2010 EMTM became an Erasmus Mundus master course making it to the list of European master and doctoral programs of excellence. Since February 2014, we are enrolled at the University of Ljubljana – Faculty of Economics in Slovenia, ranking number 29 of worlds best master for tourism & hospitality management. The semester is dedicated to learn about policy and strategy design, with emphasis on environmental issues in tourism development. From February to June 2014 we attend the following courses: Environmental Economics in Tourism (Professor: Tanja Mihalič Ph.D.) , Research Methods in Tourism (Professor: Richard Perdue Ph.D. from VirginiaTech, USA), Envrionmental Magement in Tourism (Professor: Tanja Mihalič Ph.Dd, Pauline Sheldon Ph.D. from University of Hawaii, Miša Novak), ITHAS – Sailing Academy, Tourism in the EU (Professor: Ljubica Knežević Cvelbar Ph.D.), Tourism Policy (Professor: William C. Gartner, Ph.D. from University of Minnesota, USA). Whereas the first semester in Denmark challenged students in interdisciplinarity (tourism & design faculty), co-design, creative and independent thinking as well as academic writing, Slovenia is more about training the ability to work under high time pressure within international teams and different professional backgrounds. Discussions, presentations and active contribution to the courses are essential criteria to pass.

Germany – the travel destination?

For my Strategic Communication paper at the SDU (Southern Denmark University), I was researching on: Germany – the travel destination? How effective is the tourism logo of Germany for its branding/image as a destination from the perspective of young travelers?


Background: Places, invest like companies in building up a unique image through branding elements, like tourism logos. They contract professional Branding Agencies to form their new brand identity in order to gain their market share in the growing tourism industry with 1,035 million tourists crossing borders in 2012.


Methodology: Empirical data was gathered through an online quantitative survey of nine questions completed by 100 young international travelers (18 to 29). The results were put into the context of recent research in the field.


Literature Review: Literature review showed, that a good logo should be 1) recognizable, 2) meaningful and 3) affective. Effectiveness of the German Tourism Logo was therefore analyzed in terms of, how easy it is to remember the logo (recognition), how the logo contributes to build up a unique destination brand (meaningful) and how it enhances the willingness of young international travelers to visit or re-visit the country (affective).


Main Results:

– Germany is evaluated as a highly attractive destination to visit: 97% want to visit or return to Germany.

– Only 3% of the participants know about the tourism logo of Germany: low brand awareness.

– For young international travelers:  Beer, History, Local Events (e.g. Oktoberfest), Culture/Heritage & Nature were ranked as Top 5 attributes, that create a unique image of Germany as a travel destination.

– The majority of respondents experience a lack of meaning what the current logo tries to communicate: the message of the logo is not clear and doesn’t correspond with what young travelers see as the core elements of the destination brand Germany.

– Popular suggestions on how to modify the current tourism logo include combinations like:  history-nature-innovation, urban-history-art and beer-nature-tradition with an overall proposal to focus on a simple, clear, nice, appealing and unique image that is bold, playful, modern and self-confident. The integration of national symbols like flag colors or the iconic shape of Germany located in the heart of Europe were often mentioned.


Conclusion: Germany as a destination has high potential within the young travelers‘ tourism segment. Until now, the willingness to visit doesn’t result from a high brand awareness but is attributable to other causes. It is indisputable that awareness must be raised for the tourism logo to be an effective branding tool.


Future Outlook / Idea:  Taking into account that the current logo is badly rated, the GNTB could combine the existing Social Media Campaign with a ‘Design Germany’s new logo’ contest. This would guarantee that new logo ideas are designed by both locals and internationals with an increased brand awareness of Germany as a travel destination. Additionally, the results from this contest would allow the GNTB to choose a winning logo that is highly recognizable, easy to remember, and a meaningful representation of Germany as a unique and desirable travel destination.


Kolding by night

When it is getting cold outside, and day turns into night around 4pm, towns, villages and cities all over the world decorate themselves to sound the bells for the so called ‚quiet time‘. Also the small town Kolding, where currently 33 students of the EMTM Master program are deeply in thoughts with their academic papers, adorns itself with fairy lights and Christmas decoration. While walking in the streets of Kolding, lovely Christmas figures are smiling at pedestrians passing by wishing all of you a warm-hearted Advent season!


Wenn die Tage kürzer werden und in einigen Teilen der Erde die ersten Schneeflocken fallen, dann beginnen langsam Häuser, Dörfer und Städte sich festlich herauszuputzen. Lichterketten werden gespannt und Schaufenster geschmückt. Auch in der kleinen Stadt Kolding in Dänemark, in der gerade 33 Studenten über ihren wissenschaftlichen Arbeiten brüten, bringt ein Nachtspaziergang die ein oder andere kleine Freude. Beim Vorbeischlendern zwinkern fröhliche Weihnachtswichtel einem aus den Schaufestern zu und wünschen euch allen: ‚Eine frohe und besinnliche Adventszeit.‘

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