Research areas

1. Entrepreneurship, business management, accountancy and finance

The management of tourism businesses, especially hotels, can be studied by analysing efficiency in terms of production and available resources. Finance and accounting management make up one of the other pillars of this line of research, the aim being to seek out ways to improve the management of tourism businesses.

The close ties between the School and the hotel sector, resulting from placement programmes, job offers and the presence of Hotel Campus, offer a chance to apply theoretical knowledge empirically, which brings added value, both in academic terms and in terms of the tourism sector itself. Accordingly, the School offers its Official Master's Degree in Hotel Management, with over 15 editions behind it.

Entrepreneurship and business start-ups in the tourism sector are another way to link up studies on gender impact, productivity, higher employment in the sector and a new vision of human resources management.

In addition, the School is behind the Centre for University Entrepreneurial Initiatives (CIEU), which promotes and guides entrepreneurial activity both at the School itself and in the UAB as a whole, for its undergraduate and postgraduate students, former students and other members of the community. This initiative could serve as a platform for studying the interrelationships between entrepreneurial projects in the university context and the entrepreneurship already existing in the tourism market.

Researchers: Maria Noguera, Magdalena Cayón.
 

2. Economics of Tourism

Areas: economic impact, analysis of prices and markets, aspects tourism marketing and regulation of the sector. Research in Economics of Tourism focuses on the economic impacts of specific tourism institutions and destinations and their cost-benefit analyses.

Other research lines concern market studies on the available tourist offer and studies on the behaviour of tourist demand based on the most sensitive variables in the process of choosing a tourist destination.

From the perspective of marketing, it is possible to analyse prices and seasonal variation in different types of tourist accommodation (hotels, second homes, Rural Tourism and campsites), and to make a quantitative analysis of the brand image of tourist destinations on the basis of prices.

Researchers: Albert Saló, Albert Vancells, Mónica Oviedo.

3. Tourism, sustainability, environment and ecotourism

This area includes studies related to sustainable management and planning of tourist destinations, and environmental management and the corporate social responsibility of tourism businesses.

Others specific topics related to this area are ecotourism and sustainable management of protected natural spaces and the importance of green areas to health and well-being.

The School has a long record in this field, both in teaching – with subjects like Tourism and Sustainability in the Bachelor's Degree in Tourism and the Graduate Diploma in Ecotourism and Nature-Guide Training – and in research and consultancy, fulfilling numerous projects and contracts with public authorities since the year 2000.

Researchers: Francesc Romagosa

4. Tourism and heritage

This line of research includes cultural heritage and its treatment as a tourism product, and the management of tourist guidance in heritage sites, like museums.

It also studies accessibility in heritage sites, which could be extended to other buildings linked to tourism: conference halls, hotels, etc.

Researchers: Maria Abril.

5. Medical and wellness tourism

Medical and wellness tourism, linked to the high-level, specialised treatments offered by certain medical services, is generating an influx of new tourists within a sector that shows great potential. This line of research analyses this tourist profile, the offer currently available and the evolution of these new markets.

Another area of research is the sociological analysis of tourism. It is becoming important to study consumer behaviour with regard to current trends and customs. Changes in consumer decisions are not only related to economic variables of a commercial nature, but are no doubt influenced by sociological factors.

The School of Tourism and Hotel Management also wishes to strengthen ties between the tourism sector and education. This line of research sets out to cover topics like the degree of professionalism in the sector, employment options, the profile of university students linked to tourism and a comparative analysis of training received and the demands of the labour market.

Researcher: Eva Canaleta-Safont