At the ITF we analyse the human-environment system tourism in its economic, ecological, social and cultural components and interdependencies. Our focal points in inter- and transdisciplinary research are closely related to tourism destinations from a systems perspective, embedded into the natural, socio-cultural and economic alpine environment. We investigate the mechanisms of consumer behaviour, the impacts of environmental change on tourism and resulting adaptation and mitigation strategies. A further focus is research on conceptual and methodological issues around sustainable development, such as the complexity of socio-economic-ecological networks and the measurability of sustainability.

We pursue active and innovative research related to tourism at both a national and international level. The Institute for Tourism and Leisure Research (ITF) benefits hereby from a strong regional integration in Grisons, as well as from international networks and partnerships from around the world.

Examples of current research projects:

IMG 6154

Comparison and classification of sustainability labels in ski resorts (2013)

The ITF develops a tool that makes existing sustainability labels in ski resorts internationally comparable and classifiable. With the Sustainable Mountain Tourism Alliance (SMTA), a trusted independent testing-, certification- and development association shall be established, which channels and organizes the aspirations of sustainable development in a broad network of stakeholders.

IMG 5707

Greenroomvoice - measurement and communication tool for sustainability in the outdoor industry (2013)

The ITF enhances an existing communication and assessment tool for the sustainability of products in the outdoor industry. In the context of the sustainability efforts of the European Outdoor Group (EOG), the instrument Greenroomvoice was transferred into a new combined measurement and communication tool for sustainability.

IMG 0001 neu

User-generated photos (2013)

The ITF investigated whether user-generated photos (taken by guests) of tourist destinations, activities and landscapes lead to an increased attention of the viewer compared to commercial, professional photos in different areas of online communication and online marketing.

IMG 0002

Status Quo in the e-tourism (2013)

The ITF is working on an international study to identify the key future issues of the practice and science in the field of e-tourism. The aim is to find those issues in this fast changing field, which will be of particular importance for the industry in a long term.

Herausforderung Klimawandel

Challenge climate change - opportunities and risks for tourism in Graubünden (2013)

On behalf of the Economic Development and Tourism Agency of the canton Graubünden (AWT) and the cable cars Graubünden, the ITF analyzed which potential risks and opportunities for summer and winter tourism in Graubünden can appear in relation to changes in the climate and specifically in relation to the development of current and future natural and technical snow reliability.

Klimaschutz Jetzt und Hier

Climate protection-here and now (2013)
Together with pilot destinations and based on the knowledge of the network of regional actors, the ITF develops visions and strategies for the design and launch of new climate-friendly tourism products. Specifically it`s analyzed how, based on a CO2-balance of the destination-wide tourist industry, a sustainable management process which accompanies the performers in such a process of change can be introduced.

Wertschoepfung des Kultur und Naturnahen Tourismus in Paerken

Determining the value of cultural and nature-based tourism in parks (2013)

The ITF develops a practical value tool to identify interactions between parks and the park environment. Thus, the contribution of regional value added and employment effects are demonstrated by the use of natural and cultural assets for economic and regional development.


Methods Case (2013)

The ITF developes in collaboration with the Economic Development and Tourism Agency of the canton Graubünden (AWT) a methods case, which is designed to assist tourism service providers with the implementation of quality surveys. The software is available free of charge under Graubünden quality.

OEkonomisch standortgerechte Beherbergungskonzepte

Economically and locally appropriate accommodation concepts for the alpine region (2013)

The ITF investigates alternative accommodation concepts to the traditional hotel industry in the Swiss Alps. New innovative models, which are able to meet the price and capacity situation in the Swiss holiday destinations, have been detected nationally and internationally, described and transferred to the Swiss locations.

Nutzung von sozialer Netzwerkanalyse

Use of social network analysis to manage the resilience of touristic regions (2012)

The ITF investigated as a part of the regional development program San Gottardo 2020 the community-wide and inter-cantonal structures and processes, through which collective action between different actors (network governance) can be coordinated. With the gained knowledge, the resistance and adaptability (resilience) of a region can be managed.

Gaesebefragung Graubuenden

Guest Survey of Grisons (2011-2014)

On behalf of the Economic Development and Tourism Agency of the canton Graubünden (AWT), the ITF questions annually 3,000 tourists in 14 different destinations within Graubünden about preferences, behavior, price sensitivity, satisfaction etc.. The aim is the systematic exploration, identification, documentation and interpretive description of guest segments. Learn more.

Chur Quelle GRF

Methods of measuring sustainability

The ITF compares the technical and organizational expenses of the measurement of sustainability through composit indicators such as the ecological footprint and the happy planet index as well as multi-criteria indicators such as the CERCLE set, for the first time on the city of Chur. We determine in focus group workshops, which kind of exposition of complex situations is better suited to move residents, tourists and decision-makers to more understanding and commitment to sustainable development. Further information.

Panorama Quelle GRF

Participatorynetworksand regional resilience to climate change

The ITF analyzes the social networks of tourism service providers in two partly similar, partly very different touristic regions: the Surselva-Gotthard region in Switzerland and Longyearbyen in the Norwegian Arctic. The aim is to locate the causes and drivers for resilience, so that regions can better adapt to climate change and other changes, as well as expanding the methodology of social network analysis on socio-economic systems. Further information.

Rh B Quelle GRF

Sustainable consumer behavior

The ITF measures the consumer behavior of tourists in different contexts such as in everyday life, on vacation and in various destinations and seasons. By using suitable methods, among others the conjoint analysis, we examine the relation between knowledge, awareness and behavior regarding sustainable consumption in tourism. The findings are used to develop new marketing concepts for sustainable tourism. Further information.

Steinbock Quelle GRF

Development of a method for emotional branding

The ITF extends existing methods for the measurement of emotions of consumers and service providers and transfers them into a tourist brand building process in the Gotthard region. . Further information.

Head of Research

Luthe Tobias , Prof., Dr. phil., Dipl. Forstw., M.A. Sust.Educ.
Tel. +41 81 286 39 81
Fax +41 81 286 39 49
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