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Tourism expert “on the shoulders of giants”

Dr Giancarlo Fedeli is a multi-lingual widely travelled cosmopolitan – and a new lecturer and professor of tourism management at IMC Krems. He impresses with a broad international exposure, academic and industry background and a proven track record across a wide spectrum of fields including tourism research & consultancy, sales & marketing as well as business advisory. His career stations range from Spain, the USA, Italy and Australia to Germany, the United Kingdom and now Krems.

Giancarlo Fedeli is the new professor of tourism management at IMC Krems. In the interview, he talks about his research focus and his broad international exposure.

How come you have travelled so far and lived in so many places?

Since I was a child, I remember dreaming of exploring faraway places and I have always been fascinated by the diversity of details and nuances of the different countries on my favourite atlas. My parents certainly contributed to instilling in me the desire to “learn by travelling” by supporting me in any activity that this may entail. Nevertheless, they would have never predicted that I would journey to more than 40 countries on six continents. As I grew up, I managed to combine study and work to further break my geographical barriers every time a good opportunity arose. And, till now, this is something that even my wife and daughter have also learnt to make the most of – or cope with!

How did you end up in Austria and Krems in particular?

I had travelled to Austria several times both on leisure and business trips before. However, I never had a chance to visit Krems although I always associated it with its renowned IMC tourism programmes. So, the main reason we moved to Krems remained IMC University of Applied Sciences, which has offered me a wonderful opportunity to continue my professional journey and, most of all, take part in and contribute to this forward-looking and internationally oriented organisation.

What are your main areas of research?

My main research areas are tourism management and marketing, in particular looking into topics concerning electronic marketing and tourism, misinformation in tourism, and visitor attractions management.

Which of these topics are underestimated? Which research topics should be given more attention?

Lately I have been venturing and pioneering into original areas of research concerning new issues in tourism marketing such as the spread of misinformation in digital realms. The encouraging feedback that I obtained is unquestionably telling me that such topics are increasingly current and of great interest both in academia and practice. One only has to think of the hoard of information we, as tourism users, are subject to and the potential threats such misperceptions may represent when trying to discern between true and inaccurate information sources, for instance, to decide on our travelling plans. Governments and tech companies have started to tackle some of these issues but there is still a long way to go, and the global context is increasingly challenging…

As a lecturer at IMC Krems – what is important to you?

All in all, knowing that I can make a difference and contribute to the goals of my organisation is what drives my work on a daily basis. By means of a day spent in class or online sharing my knowledge and experience with students, presenting my work at conferences or taking part in international projects and events to raise the profile of IMC Krems, I strive to make my efforts count and see the results of my work on several levels. I am also a firm believer for combining academic foundations with practical knowledge deriving from my extensive experience in business projects and tourism consultancy, and that students can fully benefit from this terrific combination in any career path they will decide to take.

And with regard to research? What will be your focus?

We all should aim to contribute to the common good via our research activities. In light of the most recent health crisis, I have, alongside other researchers from other universities, undertaken research aimed to provide valuable insights into Covid-19-related issues to support social and industry resilience and recovery – see “EC-19 TREC: European Covid-19 Tourism Research Engagement Consortium”. This will continue to be a focus for the time being as well investigating those topics, as cited earlier, with the hope of contributing to the body of knowledge… “by standing on the shoulders of giants”.


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