Franziska Thiele, Ostfalia University of Applied Science
Franziska Thiele studied leisure and tourism geography, social psychology and tourism management at University of Hanover and University of Trier. During her studies she worked for a small destination management organization near Hanover which is well known for outdoor activities in Lower Saxony, Germany. In 2012 she started as a research fellow at the Institute for Tourism and Regional Research of Ostfalia University of Applied Science. Franziska Thiele is editor of the book “Tourism and Innovation”, co-author of the study “German Hiking Market 2014” and was also leading a study about hiker’s perception and acceptance of wind turbines and other alternative energy sources. Besides her research activities in outdoor and nature tourism she is a lecture for basics in tourism management, online marketing and service quality. Her latest research project is about the effects of nature activities on health promotion. In her PhD thesis Franziska Thiele analyses the reported tourist experiences in hiking travel blogs and their implications to improve the experience quality of hiking trails.
3rd March - 16:00h – 17:45h
From A to B: What’s so new about hiking? Is the comeback just a marketing bubble?
The aim of this presentation is to discuss the positive development of the demand in hiking tourism and the resulting competition in the hiking industry. Based on the analysis of the German hiking market (Project M GmbH 2014) it can be argued that there is a new differentiation and change of values in hiking tourism. Hikers can choose between a variety of different hiking destinations and hiking trails in low or high mountain ranges to find their individual hiking experience. As the earliest form of travel walking developed to a recreational way of experiencing the landscape and nature environment such as parks, trails and other green spaces. Today walking alias hiking as well as hillwalking or trekking can be viewed as a contrast to digital everyday life. Especially an increasing number of younger target-groups are looking for recreation and deceleration in natural surroundings. In understanding the different needs and motives of hikers, we need to invest in a new quality of hiking experience related to infrastructure, trails and destinations. This presentation will give an idea of the design of hiking experience quality.