Category Archives: Allgemein

eTourism Solutions presented by IMT-Students: Mapify

Get to know the all-rounder Mapify and “Discover a world of individual travel experiences curated for you by experts.” (Mapify, n.y.b)

Mapify is an eTourism solution which basically connects young travelers in a social travel network, aiming to combine all necessary steps for planning the next journey in just one application. Authentic, supportive, responsible, adventurous, unique, handy and personalized. Who does not want to become a global host in the Mapi Family?

by Nicola Christina Heß & Christine-Ellen Musel

Mapify (2)

© Mapify

What is Mapify?

Mapify is an all-in-one travel-app-solution. It is a social travel network and contains everything a traveler needs to plan his individual journey. Mapify was founded in 2017 by 5 students in Berlin.  (Mapify, About the Team, n.y.b) The Mapify community shares their own travel photos connected directly to the locations to share their travel experiences with the other members, whereby they inspire and support each other with their experiences and honest feedback. Through these shared locations a user can plan his or her personal and unique trip by first collecting the favorite spots in a bucket list. Later with the help of the tool “Mapify Plan” users can plan the whole journey including accommodation, transportation, activities, restaurants, etc. This booking option is quite a new feature and gives even more value to the Mapify users compared to TripAdvisor and Instagram. The app also provides additional information such as recommendations, weather and visa regulations and a lot more helpful destination information. The whole process is managed by 25 Mapify team members who are responsible for the wellbeing of the community and also offer individual travel planning for an even more personalized and individualized experience (Mapify. ,n.y.a; Kanzler, 2020).


© Mapify

Business model

The entire concept is based on a word-of-mouth community that helps each other (Sehm, 2019). Mapify, therefore, follows certain values, such as authenticity, personalization, sustainability, community, adventure and nature travel. These values are core to the community and are also represented by the influencers taking part in their ambassador program and helping Mapify to create unique content especially in the initial phase. With the expansion of content, new inspiration opportunities and increasing user numbers, Mapify is no longer just a social travel network platform, now it is also a booking platform with which the company gains money. (Kanzler, 2020) Most users belong to the Y and Z generations who are used to social media. Currently, Mapify is focusing on the European market, especially the DACH region. Since 2018 nearly all destinations worldwide are offered in the app. (Häde, 2019) The progress was achieved through investors and cooperation with such as Airbnb, Apple, Kayak, MIT, Stanford and MIT (“Mapify” n.y.a.). It goes far beyond being a normal travel guide. Bringing an all-in-one-solution to the market and connecting so many travelers in an authentic and reliable community brings a lot of value to each member in the Mapi Family.

Mapify (3)© Mapify

Their challenges and future

During the COVID-19 journey containment, Mapify tries to develop its “Mapify Plan” feature and fix all the bugs so far to make individual trip planning even more exciting and easier for their community. Especially in those times, challenges appeared for Mapify as they had to bring their travelers safely back to their home countries before the borders closed. With a lot of overtime and effort, all travelers were brought home safely. Especially these unprecedented situations are new challenges that not only Mapify has to face. (Kanzler, 2020)
The cooperation with e.g. Airbnb will also play a role in the future, as they are trying to enable all parts of the customer journey to be bookable through their app (Sehm, 2019). Mapify also wants to promote responsible for travelling in the future. Going hand in hand with their values, slow, responsible and green tourism should play a bigger role in the future, not only due to Corona. Due to the limitations of COVID-19, however, it is not possible to give an exact outlook into the future, but Mapify will continue to focus on their community in order to connect with them even stronger and strengthen the authenticity of their work and their community, which makes them so special. (Kanzler, 2020)

Mapify (4)© Mapify



eTourism Solutions presented by IMT-Students: TrustYou

Introducing the world’s largest guest feedback platform


The eTourism solution TrustYou supports tourism organizations with a feedback platform solution to provide travelers with better services and products by monitoring, surveying and acting on the feedback of their guests. This in the best case, results in better performance, travel experience and thus higher revenue. In times of information overload within digital spaces, it is challenging to compile lots of opinions. Collecting this information through the web is beyond any one person’s capacity. Therefore, TrustYou collects and analyzes hundreds of millions of opinions across the online market, which the hotel than can use to positively influence travelers’ decisions through right marketing arrangements. (Johnson, n.d., p.9)

How does TrustYou work?

TrustYou was founded in 2009 by Benjamin Jost, headquartered in Munich, Germany. It was found out, that people are regularly willing to spend large amounts of money for their vacations, directly connected to their perception of quality about service, product and performance. Looking at a study carried out by TrustYou, 76% of travelers reported that they would be willing to pay more for a hotel with a higher review score (Ady and Quadi-Felitti, 2014, p.7-9). For this reason, the customer has become a co-designer in this process, whereas TrustYou forwards the feedback from the end-customer to the hotel marketing manager. With the structured overview of reviews in the platform, the hotel can improve where there is a need to improve, to influence the customer journey, booking behavior and to reach a better ranking in the end.

Looking behind the technology

The company has a unique semantic engine that analyzes online feedback content on travel sites, including Google, Kayak, Expedia, and (TrustYou, 2020 c). Their own algorithm automatically detects, collects, understands, scores and ranks the content to the respective tourism organizations (Willmore, 2018). TrustYou improves travelers’ experiences by providing intermediaries like OTA’s and destination managers or suppliers, such as for over 500.000 hotels worldwide, accommodations, restaurants with structured data in terms of Meta-Reviews, Guest Messaging service, Guest surveys and reputation analytics (Johnson, n.d., p.9). Since 2008, TrustYou has collected and analyzed all over guest reviews and has built up one of the industry’s largest and most elaborate feedback databases from which hotels can benefit in various ways. (TrustYou, 2020 d)

The technology behind the smart system is called “natural language processing” (NLP). For all languages available, there is a mechanism to group those words into the hotel categories. A set of these hotel categories (mainly the main ones) are used for the Meta-Review API. Through Meta-review API, booking sites and meta-search engines, TrustYou can display these data on their website. (Lilleberg, 2020) The data for the Meta comes from their database where all hotels are listed. In contrast to their API, TrustYou’s Meta-review is updated every Wednesday. If a client purchases an API, they can customize this raw data. All of their data partners (e.g. Google), have access to their Meta-Review API and thus the raw review data. This means that they have the right to decide on how they want to show the data on their website and how often they want to receive the updates. (Lilleberg, 2020)

TrustYou is a growing enterprise. Its success is based on high-quality standards and a great team behind, combined with a smart digital solution. Since 2009, TrustYou has been a major player for guest feedback. Developing from a startup among the first to collect reviews from across the web and deliver actionable insights for the tourism industry to a dominating well-known name. Now and in the future.


Ady, M. and Quadi-Felitti, D. (2014, July) The Effect of Reviews on Hotel Conversion Rates and Pricing pdf. Retrieved March 19, 2020, from TrustYou, p. 7-9

Johnson, N. (n.d.). Consumer Research Emphasizes Importance of Online Feedback Management pdf. Retrieved March 19, 2020, from TrustYou, p. 9

Lilleberg, L. (2020, March 23). TrustYou. (C. Werner, Interviewer)

Trustyou. (2020 a). Homepage. Retrieved March 18, 2020, from TrustYou:

TrustYou. (2020 b). About us. Retrieved March 18, 2020, from TrustYou:

TrustYou. (2020 c). Our Partners. Retrieved March 18, 2020, from TrustYou:

TrustYou. (2020 d) Review Insight Report Global 2020 pdf. Retrieved March 19, 2020, from TrustYou, p. 12

Willmore, S. (2018, February 14). Can hoteliers trust TrustYou? Retrieved March 19, 2020,  from Travel Daily (TD):


TrustYou. (2013, January 21). Logos & Images. Retrieved March 19, 2020, from TrustYou:

eTourism Solutions presented by IMT-Students: SiteMinder

by Josue Steele Aizpurua & Ruihong Liu

Just like in a video game, SiteMinder has the best weapons available to slay your competitors and rescue your revenue while decreasing the pains of the managers and staff of your hotel. Just like a true Hero, their multiple special abilities and skills will guarantee that your Hotel will remain victorious and always ahead of the competition.


Max Roseland is a Hotel Channel Manager in charge of selling 300+ hotel rooms through different online distribution channels: OTAs, retail travel agents, metasearch engines, GDS, the hotel’s website, and their social media. Max’s stress level is critical, and he is always struggling to manage the room’s inventory in each channel. To sell the rooms, he split the inventory across the channels trying to forecast which channel will generate more reservations. Once the distributions channels start to generate reservations Max needs to update the inventory in the Hotel PMS/CRS and across the channels one more time.

Max’s job has several pains that affect him and the performance of the hotel. Doing all this work on his own is time-consuming for him and the staff, the complex task also gives open room for human error that can cause overbooking chaos or even unsold rooms that result in low revenues. To save Max and the hotel we need a hero.

Introducing the Hero SiteMinder. Founded in 2007, by Mike Ford, SiteMinder is a cloud operated Channel Management System created to improve the Hotel’s reservation department operations and accelerate the hotel’s online presence. Our hero’s system updated the availability and rates of hotel’s rooms inventory directly to major OTAs and retrieves the reservations from these OTAs accordingly, making it easy for hotels to offer its rooms online, avoiding possible overbooking, low booking, and rate uniformity issues.

Our Hero has +859 integrations across online travel agents, property management systems, central reservation systems and more, to ensure that the SiteMinder System is compatible, and can be seamlessly incorporated into the majority of hotel’s systems to save hoteliers, acting as a real-time channel manager, effectively selling rooms online, updating inventory and online offers real-time; without the need of additional software.


SiteMinder also counts with extra superpowers under their sleeves, like:

  • The Booking Button: it is an Online Booking Engine that helps hoteliers rescue reservations, attracting traffic directly to their website rather than through OTA platforms, to guarantee 100% income and No commission for reservations. With the simplified booking system, it allows customers to complete the online booking in 2 steps through computers, mobile devices, or even through Facebook. This extra feature also has comprehensive integrations with channel managers, websites, and PMSs. A 14-day trial version is available to test this skill and it can be fully implemented for a monthly fee of 104.00 euros for a 100-room inventory.
  • Canvas: A Hotel’s Website Design system that helps hotels to capture the bookings from travelers searching online, converting them into guests while enjoying commission free revenue, with a modern and appealing website look. Canvas solution provides the hotels with pre-made themes to apply to their websites, with an easy to use interface that allows them to edit the colors, options, and pictures to give the website a look that goes according to their brand. Having a website design system allow hoteliers to have control over the touchpoints on the pre-stage of the guest’s journey while transforming the pain of finding and managing website developers, and uncertainty of expensive website designer costs, into the enjoyment of having full ownership and control of the hotel’s website with a standard fee of 75 euros per month, for each 100-room on inventory.
  • SiteMinder Insights: A smart platform that gives hoteliers a single place to access trusted, clear, and relevant real-time data on their market and performance. With forecasting features that allow hotel managers to plan for the future and stay on top of their game. This feature counts with an Intelligent Pricing System skill, that provides real-time pricing of your competitors and OTAs, with an alert system that allows adjusting your reservation fees on time to stay on top of the competition today and tomorrow. This skill is critical to have the best offer available on your booking engine at all times, to guarantee a direct flow of traffic to the hotel.
  • GDS by SiteMinder: Give hotel managers access to all GDS’s integrated into a single interface, reducing cost and complex situation on signing and dealing with individual GDS’s. This allows exposing the hotel inventory to more than 600.000 travel agencies worldwide who search for room offers via GDS’s systems. This skill helps to save time and money, with seamless integration to the hotel’s PMS or CRS, eliminating manual data entry, human error, and double bookings. Its Instant Insight Reports helps to analyze the performance of the hotel channels and access to data needed to improve distribution strategies.
  • The Hotel Apps Store: it’s their last integrated feature that serves as a platform with over 100 digital solutions that might help hoteliers to meet their needs. The apps offered can be fully integrated into the hotel’s PMS or the SiteMinder CM, to power up their functionality and avoiding multiple software of applications.

Future Levels – Interview with James Bishop

The Senior Director – Global Demand Partnerships of SiteMinder talks with us about the future of their solution. He expresses that their Channel Manager system will continue to be the core of the platform, but they aim to continue evolving along with the world of travel to keep developing and offering solutions and reach their goal to be a complete Guest Acquisition Platform. He expresses that SiteMinder is always updating its existing features to offer the best solutions to the hotels and stay up to their game.

We also talked about the challenges and opportunities of their solution under the background of Artificial Intelligence Technologies. Bishop reflects that AI – Machine learning is going to be crucial for hotels to understand their data and why, when, and where the guest books, and at what rate they will pay, to help hotels have an insightful look at their data and help them with Occupancy, RevPAR and ADR. SiteMinder is taking effort on how to adopt AI tech applications to make their solution smarted, rather than concentrating on solutions scalability. Moreover, they aim to focus on applying AI to make sure those technologies proactively do the right things and the right points of time, to improve the customer journey within the right segments.

SiteMinder will also continue to improve the ecosystem and offers of its new Hotel App Store to provide hoteliers with the power to connect with their customers at every touchpoint throughout their travel journey.

The SiteMinder solution has a free 14-day trial to test their main features and their fees are defined by the number of rooms that the hotels have on inventory. If the hotel owns 100 rooms, the channel manager subscription will be 161.00 euros monthly (excluding taxes) and 5% discount by paying annually. Their fee structure is extremely attractive for hoteliers since other solutions charge by the commission, this allows them to have a fixed cost in their financial statements and have more accurate financial forecasting of their business.

In 2020, SiteMinder has been recognized as the number 1 Channel Manager Software and broke the elusive billion-dollar valuation. This recognition added to their strong product portfolio shows that SiteMinder is the Superman of hotel solutions, and is working hard to keep hoteliers happy by saving their revenue, lower their stress levels and giving them control of all touchpoints in the guest journey for the ultimate traveler experience.


 Pictures sources:

eTourism Solutions presented by IMT-Students: Polycular

“Mom, is this the place where games come from?”

by: Leonie Hergesell & Barbara Prodinger

Great software developers leave Austria to work in design studios in the United States, France or Canada. This movement encouraged Robert Praxmarer and Thomas Layer-Wagner to found Polycular. The company is known as an interactive design and technology studio where creative technological innovations facilitate experiences in the real and virtual world. We raised the questions, why companies engage in Gamification, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality and how gamifying tourism can lead to greater customer experience.


This blog entry seeks to answer these questions in an adequate manner. The in Hallein based Startup provides each client with a tailored solution. A four-step strategy with a clear value proposition builds the base of a successful result. The essential steps, that each product goes through are: Ideation and Strategy, User Experience, Concept and Design, Technology and Development and Launch and Distribution. The highly customized games and apps trigger rewarding interactions, raise the brand awareness, increase customer satisfaction and loyalty to the destination or company. Through empathy, dramaturgy and storytelling, the eTourism solution satisfies and surpasses the customer’s needs and expectations.

The current technological innovations will not only enhance the customer experience. Training in sales, negotiation, conflict resolution and leadership communication can be brought to a new level, through emotional responsive avatars and the development of touchable holographic technologies.

So, this is not only the place where games come from. This is the place where technological innovations are born and raised.

eTourism Solutions presented by IMT-Students: SuitePad

by: Aitana Jansana & Hasini Uthpala Ganewita

Both the Tourism Industry and the Hospitality industry are in constant development to meet today’s guest’s needs and expectations. In order to keep being updated and competitive within such a concurred market, every business sees themselves in the obligation of adapting their offered services and reinventing their core ideas to keep occupying the top positions of the different Hospitality ranking scales. This remarkable evolution that the Tourism industry is experiencing has provided the opportunity for different technological solutions to appear in order to cover new necessities during the customers’ journey.

SuitePad is one example of such. Founded in 2012 in Berlin, the company started as a provider of guest in-room tablets in order to enhance guest communication within hotels. By supplying hotel rooms with their tablet devices, they allowed guests to communicate with the hotel staff, avoiding the need for them to walk down the hall. Accompanying guests during their pre, during and post stages of their stay, they provide them with hotel services booking options; detailed information about the hotel services and relevant information about possible activities and spots to visit in the concrete destination. Establishing such service based on a B2B and B2C model, SuitePad not only enhances the quality of the guest stay in a hotel but also boosts both hotel revenue and local business revenues.

However, technical components are not less important. Providing an efficient, comprehensive, accessible and profitable service through technological devices as tablets are not that simple. By the learnings from their first prototype errors, SuitePad decided to invest in designing their own hardware, which gave them the prospect to avoid dependence from a third-party supplier and to adapt it precisely to the needs they aimed to cover.

Furthermore, performing in a highly turbulent and ever-evolving market requires a successful business strategy to keep updated, recognize and understand the contemporary targeted customers’ needs and expectations. Therefore, SuitePad chose to follow a ‘Go-to-market’ strategy, so that they could assure a strong customer base in the long-term. Even if the success of SuitePad is evident, it is crucial for a company like them to stay innovative. As a result of that, the company started to provide further devices than the in-room tablets with distinct features, for example the ‘SuitePad Lobby’, the ‘SuitePad BYOD’, the ‘SuitePad Phone’ and the ‘SuitePad TV Control’.

SuitePad also makes explicit their concern about sustainability by contributing to reduce the carbon footprint via the Green Solution. It is a precise opportunity at no additional expense. It encourages guests to omit the cleaning of the room in exchange for a small reward and the satisfaction of knowing they have positively contributed to the environment protection. SuitePad’s Green Option serves also as a key cost-saving source for hoteliers by facilitating them refinance their SuitePad subscription and significantly lower their carbon footprint.

Currently, while the COVID-19 crisis set the whole world at chaos, SuitePad has taken steps to help its clients to keep them informed about how to deal with this crisis through their push messaging service. SuitePad also offered tailormade solutions on how to tackle the upcoming COVID-19 travel boom by using digital technological solutions. For example, SuitePad has optimized its in-room tablet to enhance the use of room services in order to adapt to variable guest behavior during this crisis.

Because of their business strategy, their concern about current issues as sustainability and their high understanding of the market they are performing in, SuitePad occupied the top 1 position in the category of best Guest Room Tablet by hoteltech Awards 2020.

eTourism Solutions presented by IMT-Students: assistant.tyrol.skill

A skill for Amazon Alexa and Google Action by Speed-U-Up

by Simon Wiesinger & Kerstin Semmelrock

Have you already thought about what to do during you next trip to Tyrol? No? So probably you will not even have to waste your time by searching for adventures hiking paths and recommendable restaurants. Speed-u-up (SUU) has developed a solution in cooperation with the tourism organisation Tyrol, which allows us to ask Alexa or the Google assistant for insider tips for this region. Are you already curious what Tyrol has to offer?

What is SUU?

SUU is a digital service provider in the field of online marketing, setting a strong focus on new technologies. Since SUU is based in Innsbruck, they are mainly operating in the DACH region, where the company has managed to build a strong network within alpine tourist destinations. SUU is offering a wide range of future-orientated concepts to DMOs tourism associations, but also to single hotels. SUU is eager to serve individual customer needs and to offer their clients competitive advantages. Therefore, their team is trying to develop continuously and to adapt to upcoming trends. The company consists of different departments like a technology and system unit, a performance team, or a content studio. Their broad portfolio of digital solutions includes among others: marketing conversions, semantic annotation, skills for smart assistants, CRM, SME, programmatic advertising, newsletters, storytelling, blogging, content production or social media and influencer marketing (Speed-u-up, 2020; Rädler, 2020).

 “Experience Tyrol”

SUU is already experienced in creating smart skills and voice apps for Alexa and co. and has recently developed a solution for the tourism organization Tyrol called “Experience Tyrol”, by co-creating in an open innovation process with several tourism destinations in Tyrol. This approach led to plenty of inputs from different stakeholders and SUU could add an enormous amount of information to the tool. Nevertheless, this smart skill doesn´t stop learning so new information can be added continuously (Speed-u-up,2020; Rädler, 2020). The skill “Experience Tyrol” is free to download and can be activated with the Amazon Echo Dot, a device that runs through Android 6.0+ or iOS10.0+ or Google Home. “Experience Tyrol” gives users insider tips on how to spend their time, where to eat and what to experience in Tyrol. Moreover, weather forecasts, insider stories, language training to get familiar to the local dialect and many more possibilities are provided. After the skill is installed on a fitting device (e.g. smartphone, Echo Dot, Google Home) it can be simply activated by using specific verbal formulations (Tirol Werbung, 2020).

Image 2

Even if already more destinations started to use voice assistants, SUU in co-creation with the tourism organization Tyrol remains pioneers in this field. As mentioned before, they are trying to stay on the edge of knowledge when it comes to new technologies, to also develop innovative tech-solutions in future. Through this case, students got an overview of solutions that an online marketing agency offers to the tourism industry. Due to the fact that some students aim to work in the tourism sector later on, definitely some interesting insights.


References and further readings

Rädler, A. (2020; Mach 30th ; April 6th, ;May 10th). Speed-u-up. (Wiesinger S. Interviewer)

eTourism Solutions presented by IMT-Students: adAlte

by: Elza Kaiumova & Carolina Nieto

Why companies would like to use adAlte as their friendly and easier tech solution?

The main aim of this post is to analyze adAlte as a possible solution for the tourism industry. Taking a closer look, we try to examine its contribution within the industry and the company’s future challenges.

Technological advances have changed the way the tourism industry is interacting. Today, companies are looking for technologies to engage with customers at every stage of their requirements.


Moreover, tourism companies seek an optimized product or service which can be integrated and customized to their needs.

What is adAlte?

When travel agencies, DMC, Tour operators or service providers seek a tech solution that can improve their daily operations within the market, they might find adAlte as a web-based platform with support on cloud AWS technology. Two categories are the main assets of the company:

  1. Front-desk and back-office software the perfect combination to integrate directly and easily tools and features such as travel management system, reservation system, supplier’s database, groups management and hotel mapping, and,
  2. A B2B travel HUB as an opportunity for adAlte customers to be a “Buyer” or “Provider”, it is a place where they can share their knowledge of the market and expertise with each other.

And what does it mean? On one hand, the buyer offers the best possible online travel service catalog, a mix of products provided by global wholesalers and local DMC which are customized in terms of markups, locations, and services published. On the other hand, the provider will be promoted to Travel Hub Buyers Partners. (Adalte,2020).

One could say that this solution is similar to a transaction on the financial market, but in this case, they are not negotiating with currencies, instead, they use terms related to tourism. They are offering a B2B Marketplace as a community of professional local experts who offer their inventory online and they also provide the customers interested in these products and services.

It is amazing, how this company can be a “wall street” but for tourism. They can play a vital role as the intermediary between providers and buyers. Now, coming back to the main question why adAlte? This company offers exclusive access and use through AWS marketplace. Besides, Adalte is a development system that brings on the table a front-end and back-office software to improve business functions and sales using tools for project management, front office, marketing, operating reports and online sales. (Adalte,2020)

AdAlte also lets the customers hold a critical mass of expertise relating to their social and economic conditions, particularly, during the COVID-19 Crisis, a time when the tourism industry has been affected tremendously.

It is relevant to mention that this company, the same as others has strengths and weaknesses. The strengths are based on the efficiency, authenticity, security and suitability of its products and services such as online booking websites, B2B or B2C websites and travel software for the operational activities. This company offers its customers a hundred percent of personalized and customized results run on AWS-connectivity.

However, the market offers thousands of different solutions for the tourism industry with similar options, more experience in the market and well-known clients. Move on to the weaknesses one has to mention some of the biggest weaknesses for the company, currently:

  1. Small worker base, that limits the amount of interaction and has to coordinate work dozens of companies around the world.
  1. The complexity of use, that may appear intimidating to new and untrained users.
  1. Limited channels of marketing, which can hinder the growth of the company and its recognition factor. Furthermore, a tremendous amount of advertisement and publicity is necessary if one wants to succeed all around the world simultaneously
  1. The homepage and social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn generate uncertainty about its products and services themselves.
  1. The lack of relevant marketing and expertise in the market.
  1. The lack of information from the customers related to their satisfaction with the company and its services.

Finally, one has to mention the main challenges of the company:

  1. Large competition, that contains competitors which are much more recognizable and grow even faster than adAlte.
  2. The fast development of new technologies in the new millennium of globalization. New solutions can come up to the market and push the platform out of the market.
  3. COVID-19 crisis made all the tourism industry suffer a lot and adAlte is among those companies. The main challenge is to learn how to quickly identify, quickly and correctly adapt to the situation.

To come to an end, it is difficult to conclude on a positive or a negative note. The contribution for the industry can be an innovative and unique travel hub with the aim to involve all the tourism companies around the world as a whole and unique community. However, this goal is ambitious when this company has only eleven employees in three offices. Moreover, if one considers the statistics of the market size of the global travel industry in only 2019 can observe a market size of 644 billion U.S. dollars. (, 2020). That means, each and every day new ideas and competitors enter the market. To succeed one has to focus on a particular field or strategy and stay innovative at the same time.


How to structure a scientific paper?

This week my students had to analyze 30 different papers from the journal “Tourism Management“. The aim was to find out which content elements should be written at which point of the paper.  They had to mark the different elements in each paper section accordingly (Abstract, Introduction, Literature Review, Methodology, Results, Discussion & Conclusion). Their notes were collected in a form and now analyzed by me.

The results are shown below. I hope that they will help students to structure their articles even better in the future.

For this interactive visualization, you can click the “play” button below, to walk through the paper from the Abstract to the Discussion. You see the importance of the different terms in the timeline if you hoover them. You can also regulate the speed, add new terms to be displayed etc.

The following Streamgraph is somehow a walkthrough of all analyzed papers. It clearly shows that the abstract covers most of the elements on the very left, we can see the domination of “data” in the methodology and results section. But more important for students is to see the combination of the different elements in each section and the dominance of these elements. Eg. The contribution is important in the abstract, a bit in the introduction and at the discussion and conclusion (click to enlarge).


This scatterplot shows somehow the “landscape” of paper-elements. It was done by calculating the TF-IDF of the whole corpus and using t-SNE algorithm to plot it in 2D. One can clearly see the different Topic-Clusters (click to enlarge) t-SNE built.


Finally, Wordclouds and Term-Networks from each structure element (click to enlarge)





Literature review:






Discussion & Conclusion:


I hope this helps students to get a better feeling when writing a scientific paper. Please note, that this is not a research project, it´s just a quick and dirty analysis based on the data my students identified. And of course, each topic/paper has it´s own requirements and Journals have slightly different requirements as well. But still, this should provide a rough overview.

ENTER-Conference: 2nd Place – Best Paper Award

At the international ENTER conference, the world’s largest eTourism conference, which took place this year in Guildford at the University of Surrey in the UK, our Masterprogram achieved great success, as we were awarded second place in the Best Paper Award for their paper entitled “Exploring the Impact of Multisensory VR on Travel Recommendation: A Presence Perspective”.


left to right: Roman Egger, Jasmin Hopf, Melina Scholl, Barbara Neuhofer

Roman Egger and Barbara Neuhofer had submitted a paper from the Research Seminar together with Master students. “With a rejection rate of 60%, ENTER is considered very selective. The fact that we were then nominated and even achieved second place makes us all the happier”, reports Roman Egger, head of the eTourism department and head of the Key Competencies & Research Methods. “In addition, you have to bear in mind that there were no other Master’s students presenting at the conference, so the competition was definitely very strong,” he adds.

The innovative study brings together the topics of eTourism and experience design. “We have researched how VR can be enriched with all senses in the future, resulting in an immersive experience for the participants”, says Barbara Neuhofer

Over the course of several semesters, the Master’s students work on a research project and the publication, which can then be submitted to a conference. This is a good opportunity to get students interested in research. The successful supervision of the scientific work is confirmed by this. Already in 2019 students could present their paper at the ENTER conference in Cyprus.

The participation gives students an insight into the academic world and has already inspired some of our students to continue with PhD studies.

The Rectorate and International Office of the FH Salzburg supported the students financially, so that they could present their publication on site. The next ENTER Conference will take place in China in 2021.
More information:


ISCONTOUR 2019, 8th International Student Conference in Tourism Research

K1024_2019-05-14 17.23.26

This year’s International Student Conference on Tourism Research (ISCONTOUR), organized jointly by FH-Krems and MCI Innsbruck, attracted about 300 participants from over 30 nations to Innsbruck to present their accepted papers.

Master’s students of the program Innovation and Management in Tourism (IMT) were also represented. The articles from the research seminar series “eTourism Research” (Prof. Roman Egger and Prof. Barbara Neuhofer) were submitted and all six papers were assessed in a tripple-blind-review procedure, despite a 50% rejection rate. Thus, the entire 4th semester of the Master students was on site to present their results at the ISCONTOUR.

The culmination of the event was the Best-Paper Award. Two groups won first and second place in the Best ICT Paper Award at the international competition. Victory was won by the study group Augmented Reality. They developed an AR prototype for the Salzburg Zoo to provide information about animals living in the zoo and tested the acceptance of such a solution. Second place went to the Virtual Reality group. In an experiment and with the help of biofeedback (heart rate, skin conduction ), they examined how 4D Virtual Reality (as additional stimuli, smells, wind, heat, etc.) differed from classic virtual reality in a holiday scenario with respect to the construct “presence”.