zum Inhalt springen

Katrin Schwaiger, Fellowship Grant 2019

Destination Commitment of generation Y and Z hospitality employees

On my way to an interview – Bichlalm ski lift in Kitzbühel, September 2019 © K. Schwaiger

For a two-month period from September 2019 to October 2019, I received a Fellowship Grant of the Graduate School of Geosciences. Thanks to this grant, I was able to exceedingly advance my PhD thesis. I was able to collect valuable data for the second paper of my PhD thesis in shorter time than otherwise possible. This research paper focuses on the perceptions of generation Y and Z hospitality employees’ regional quality of life. Furthermore, it explores different types of commitment to the tourist destination in which they work based on their perceived quality of life. The hospitality industry suffers greater levels of labor shortage and turnover than other branches. This is due to the rather unfortunate image of the industry and it negatively impacts not only individual businesses, but entire regions. The North Tyrolean city of Kitzbühel was chosen as research area. Kitzbühel is a renowned tourist destination, however it faces huge challenges in finding and retaining employees, particularly in the younger generations. These generations are the backbone of the future of the tourism industry.

Regarding hospitality businesses, employee commitment is a well-researched field. Nevertheless, since businesses and destinations are inseparably connected, the question arises how employees commit themselves to their destinations. With the help of the GSGS Fellowship, I finalized my data collection for my second PhD paper on destination commitment. I received valuable input from my supervisor concerning the research design and eventually got more and more experienced with qualitative interviews and the related techniques.

In September, I visited the GSGS course “Good Scientific Practice”, which aided me in controlling the writing process of my second PhD paper. In the second half of the Fellowship, I transcribed my interviews and coded the data. Thus, I am particularly glad to have had the opportunity to do extensive methodological research and apply the methodology in the field. I am more than happy to share this knowledge. A first draft of the paper has now been written and after revisions and close cooperation with my supervisor, it is expected to be handed in in early January 2020.

Moreover, in October, I attended the International Conference on Tourism (CACTUS) in Romania, where I presented the contents of my first PhD paper. I also discussed the contents and goals of the second paper and received enthusiastic feedback on the topic. Cooperation with the Romanian research community are planned to shift the focus in tourism geographical research from tourists and residents towards the actual employees as essential stakeholders of the industry.

Katrin Schwaiger
PhD student
Institute of Geography
Professor Dr. Boris Braun (working group)
PhD project: “Destination Commitment of generation Y and Z hospitality employees.” (working title)