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Story #Fachhochschule#Student Story#Alumni#Tourism and Leisure Management

Ideas and how to implement them

Maria Ettlinger graduated from the HLW Amstetten and then decided to study Tourism and Leisure Management at IMC Krems. She then completed a master’s programme in Sports, Culture and Event Management at FH Kufstein. She can refer to an impressive list of professional experience and already two positions as managing director at Stadtmarketing Amstetten and now at the LEADER-Region Tourismusverband Moststraße.

Porträt von Maria Ettlinger

"In several months of experience abroad in Malta, Corsica, Australia and New Zealand, I discovered my passion for tourism and the culture of different countries and regions." – Maria Ettlinger © Photo credit: Marco Zehetgruber

Why did you choose the bachelor’s programme Tourism and Leisure Management at IMC Krems?

In several months of experience abroad in Malta, Corsica, Australia and New Zealand during and after my school years at HLW Amstetten, I discovered my passion for tourism and the culture of different countries and regions. The decision for IMC Krems was easy for me because the study programme was offered in English, the University of Applied Sciences is easily accessible from Amstetten, the curriculum seemed very interesting and the modern campus in beautiful Krems on the Danube was convincing.

What did the part-time option mean for you? How did you manage it?

No degree course in the world can replace work experience, and any idea is only as good as its implementation. That’s why it was extremely valuable for me to be able to gain work experience alongside my studies. I was still able to concentrate sufficiently on my studies on Fridays and Saturdays in addition to a part-time position to be able to perform both tasks with enthusiasm. Flexible employers and self-discipline are an advantage here.

What were the highlights of your studies for you? What do you particularly appreciate about IMC Krems?

The professionalism of IMC Krems with regard to organisation, the joint excursion abroad to Istanbul with Dr. Irfan Arikan, and studying in English excited me. But what I remember most was the unique location of the campus in the historic buildings of Piaristengasse.

What do you currently do professionally?

I am the managing director and LEADER manager of the “LEADER-Region Tourismusverband Moststraße” and take care of the implementation of the local development strategy in the field of tourism and leisure industry focusing on the unique cultural landscape in the region. With about 100 member businesses and numerous regional associations as well as supra-regional institutions such as Mostviertel Tourismus or Niederösterreich Werbung, we implement regional development projects in a total of 31 communities in western Lower Austria.

Where do you see Austrian tourism in the next few years?

The trends that we are increasingly seeing in the area of regional tourism are quality, sustainability, and authentic and nature-based experiences with a mindfulness factor. I think these aspects also apply to Austrian tourism. In addition, I see tourism above all reacting to climate change in the coming years.

To what extent did your studies at IMC Krems influence your career?

My studies showed me that destination management, tourism marketing and regional development could be interesting career fields for me.

Where do you see yourself professionally in ten or fifteen years?

In any case, still passionate about the tourism and leisure industry.

What advice would you give to a young person who thinks about studying tourism at IMC Krems?

1. It pays off to study part-time.
2. It is important to be enthusiastic about the industry and the contents of the study programme and to remain open to different tasks and jobs.
3. A personal exchange with alumni or students helps in the decision-making process.

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