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Story #Tourism and Leisure Management#Student Story#Alumni

From professional practice to IMC classrooms

Around 80 full-time lecturers contribute their scientific and specialist know-how to teaching at IMC Krems. Many more are part-time lecturers who contribute their practical know-how. Peer-Christian Fritz is one of them and teaches tourist topics. He knows first-hand about the impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on the tourism sector.

Porträt von Peer-Christian Fritz

Peer-Christian Fritz is an IMC Alumnus and obtained a master degree for Tourism Management in 2000. Photo credit: © private/Peer-Christian Fritz

Peer-Christian Fritz is an IMC Alumnus and obtained a master degree for Tourism Management in 2000. He immediately put into practice what he had learned and worked for high-quality hotel companies such as Hyatt International, Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Marriott International across Europe, Africa, Middle East and North America.
This has given him exposure to different types of hotels, brands, cultures, and political environments. Since August 2021 Peer has been the General Manager of the historic Westin Nova Scotian Hotel in Halifax, Canada. For the last few years Fritz has also supported the growth and development of students at IMC Krems by sharing his own knowledge and by inviting industry professionals from across the globe to spend time with the students. He has been a part-time lecturer in ‘Hospitality management’ and ‘Current issues in tourism’ at IMC Krems since October 2020.

Meetings, conferences & organisations

Among the current tourism topics that Fritz includes in his lectures, some are strongly influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic. After all, the tourism sector is one of the hardest hit industries. “COVID-19 has truly transformed the meetings and conference industry as in-person events were cancelled or postponed due to heavy capacity restrictions and social distancing,” Fritz explains. “In our class ‘Current issues in tourism’ our students discovered the trends, challenges, and opportunities of this transformation and were able to explore the future of virtual and hybrid events.” Industry professionals joined the classroom and students could deepen their understanding by asking questions first-hand.  
COVID-19 has also significantly changed travel behaviours. “Target groups and needs shifted, and tourism organisations had to quickly pivot and adapt their marketing efforts to attract guests to their destination,” Fritz says. IMC students learned about the latest trends and developments and also had the opportunity to ask industry professionals first-hand about their tactics and strategies to develop future business.
Supply chain management is another topic that was heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The negative effects can be felt throughout the tourism industry. At IMC Krems, students spent time with a Supply Chain Manager to better understand how every element of the supply chain was affected and how tourism organisations, especially hotels and restaurants, are able to overcome these challenges.
“IMC Krems has maintained close contact and knowledge exchange with experts and former students at home and abroad for many years” says Claudia Bauer-Krösbacher, programme director of the Bachelor programme Tourism and Leisure Management. This know-how and the experience gained directly from practice benefit the students.