The Austrian Society of Applied Research in Tourism (ASART)
As tourism has been an important industry factor and a major contributor to Austria's foreign exchange earnings for decades it is no surprise that this country has had a long tradition of tourism research on the academic level. Research, however, has not always been conducted for its own sake and, therefore, an organized way of stimulating 'knowledge transfer' is required.
By recognizing the need for evaluating theories, collecting and analyzing data, and feeding the newly generated information back into managerial channels, ASART has taken the challenge and accomplished these tasks:
The mission of ASART is the mutual transfer of research-related information from the academic community to the practitioners and vice versa. Practitioners and managers raise questions, not always in a very precise and ready-to-answer format. Academics react to these inputs, not always in a managerially conducive manner. But a platform is needed to keep the dialog going. ASART was founded in 1972 by the tourism division of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce, the Institute for Tourism and Leisure Studies at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, and a number of tourism companies.
According to its bylaws ASART is a politically independent Vienna based non-profit organization, exclusively financed by membership fees and donations.
Traditionally, the head of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce Tourism Association holds the function of the ASART president. The ASART board, responsible for the Society's current affairs, is composed of the presidents and top managers from the industry.
In fulfilling its task, ASART provides a number of services to its members, most of which are provided exclusively to members, some of them are at reduced prices:
The ASART members receive a monthly newsletter that includes reports on research projects and conferences, reviews of the latest tourism-related journal contributions and books, Internet material of common interest, and a calendar of conferences and congresses on tourism subjects for three months in advance. More than sixty volumes appeared in the ASART Publication Series, all of which can be ordered directly at the Society's office. In cooperation with the 'Tourism Studies Austria' ASART offers members access to international literature searches at reduced prices.
Another of ASART´s goals is to promote contact between companies and students at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration.
All graduate students elaborate their theses for commercial companies on subjects they need research on. Regular meetings organized in cooperation with the Institute for Tourism and Leisure Studies assist students and ASART members to become acquainted with company representatives and offer an opportunity to exchange views about future prospects and job alternatives.
The Austrian Award for Tourism Research is one of ASART´s activities with the purpose of encouraging research initiatives. Annually the best submitted research papers are awarded. The submitted papers will be subject to double blind review. The authors of the best research papers are invited to present their papers to the jury, which consists of both academics and top managers from the industry, at a public hearing.
How to become a member?
Companies and private persons with a stake in the tourism industry all over the world may apply for membership. However, most of the publications, the newsletter, and the round table talks are in German. Membership admission is decided by the board. At present the ASART has about 40 company members (called 'sponsors') and 30 private members (called 'ordinary members').
For further information please contact