University roles and responsibilities

  • Research theme lead ‘Visitor experience and destination marketing’ in the Centre for Competitiveness of the Visitor Economy
  • Academic Integrity Officer

    My qualifications

    PhD in Economic Geography
    Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich
    Habilitation on the relationship between perceptions of space and spatial behaviour
    Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich


    Postgraduate research supervision



    Jie Wang, Marion Karl (2021)Understanding How Tourists Perceive and Respond to Risk: A Focus on Health Risk, In: Tourist Health, Safety and Wellbeing in the New Normalpp. 347-371 Springer Singapore

    With the COVID-19 pandemic, safety and hygiene are becoming key criteria for travel decision-making; therefore, understanding tourists’ perception of and response to risk, particularly health risk, becomes more prominent when the tourism industry is one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. After a comprehensive literature review on tourists’ risk perception, this chapter develops a risk perception model in the “tourist-destination relationship” context. Going from a more general discussion on tourists’ risk perception, this chapter reviews the literature on tourists’ health risk perception as a sub-field and illustrates it using a case study. This case study discusses Australian tourists’ risk perception of diseases or illnesses using pre-COVID-19 survey data. Based on the results of the case study, this chapter outlines an interdisciplinary research agenda to understand tourists’ perception of and response to risk in the context of tourist health and safety in the post-COVID-19 era. This chapter concludes with urgent research themes and topics, disciplinary insights, methodology and future opportunities.

    Marion Karl (2018)The influence of risk perception on destination choice processes, In: European Journal of Tourism Research18pp. 160-163
    M. Karl, C. Reintinger (2016)Mapping Destination Choice: Set Theory as a Methodological Tool, In: Tourist behaviour: an international perspectivepp. 74-83 Cabi Publishing-C A B Int
    Florian Kock, A. George Assaf, Mike G. Tsionas, Alexander Josiassen, Marion Karl (2023)Do Tourists stand by the Tourism Industry? Examining Solidarity During and After a Pandemic, In: Journal of travel research SAGE Publications

    How does the suffering of a whole industry influence people’s attitudes toward that industry? This research is the first, across disciplines, to examine this question. The authors provide the first conceptual study and empirical test for the phenomenon called tourism solidarity. Based on seminal social psychology research, tourism solidarity is conceptualized and defined as an individual’s compassion with and support of an industry, resulting from an observation of suffering. The authors use a covariance-based structural equation model as well as a novel Bayesian estimation approach (i.e., non-parametric) to develop a reliable and easy-to-apply tourism solidarity scale and assess its role of solidarity in two consecutive empirical studies. By doing so, the authors are able to empirically demonstrate the importance of tourism solidarity for tourist behavior, and provide both tourism researchers and practitioners with a conceptual model and measurement tool to assess, quantify and actively manage solidarity toward the tourism industry.

    Monika Popp, Jürgen Schmude, Marlena Passauer, Marion Karl, AH Bauer (2021)Why Don't They Travel? The Role of Constraints and Motivation for Non-Participation in Tourism, In: Leisure Sciencesahead-of-print(ahead-of-print)pp. 1-26 Routledge

    Between one-quarter and one-third of the population in developed economies do not travel, but our understanding of this group is rather limited. Studies looking at constraints and motivation often treat non-travelers as an homogeneous group compared to a spectrum of traveler types. Non-travel is also often implied as being a deficit rather than a voluntary decision. A mixed-method approach is applied in this study to explicitly explore the variety within non-travelers in general and voluntary non-travelers in particular. Qualitative interviews with non-travelers were used to gain a more in-depth understanding of the underlying reasons for non-travel. Non-travelers were then segmented based on constraints and motivation in a large-scale survey representative for Germany. The resulting non-traveler typology clearly shows distinct non-travelers types. By adding a pro non-travel preference instead of using deficit-oriented arguments, voluntary types of non-travelers were identified. This implies that non-travel is not necessarily something people want to overcome.

    GuoQiong Ivanka Huang, Marion Susanne Karl, IpKin Anthony Wong, Rob Law (2022)Tourism destination research from 2000 to 2020: A systematic narrative review in conjunction with bibliographic mapping analysis, In: Tourism management95(104686)pp. 1-19

    Literature reviews serve as cornerstones for advancing the corpus of existing knowledge. This article offers an overview of the evolution of destination studies from 2000 to 2020. The current study first overviews 20 destination review articles and then applies bibliometric algorithms to determine authorships, popular topics, thematic clusters, and structural variations in 1393 destination studies. The bibliometric analysis identifies the seven largest specialties of destination research as destination loyalty, destination image, destination digitalization, destination marketing, destination experience and recommendation, destination governance, and destination resources. A framework was developed to illustrate the major topics of interest at the macro, meso, and micro levels. The article discusses similarities and contrasts between the findings of the two review methodologies and concludes with a research agenda for destination management scholarship.

    Marion Karl, Shane Pegg, Paul Harpur (2022)Exploring constraints in business travel for disabled workers: An ecological systems perspective, In: Disability & society Routledge

    It is reasonable to expect that travel systems at the workplace would consistently support disabled workers to travel for work in a manner consistent with their needs. Yet, insufficient travel support, systemic bias and discrimination are often the lived experience of disabled workers. To date, research has predominantly focused on leisure travel and disability. Applying an ecological systems theoretical frame, this study investigated how disabled workers in the higher education sector negotiate travel constraints during the organisation and experience of work-related travel. A qualitative research approach was used to understand and improve work-related travel for disabled workers. Findings revealed that disabled workers are regularly forced to negotiate layers of travel constraints related to their personal circumstances and embedded in an interacting environmental system comprising their private life, workplace and broader society. Recommendations are made for a work-travel system that is more inclusive of all workers.

    Marion Karl, Florian Kock, Alexander Bauer, Brent W. Ritchie, A. George Assaf (2022)When the Future is Now: An Experimental Study on the Role of Future Thinking and Affective Forecasting in Accommodation Decision-Making, In: Journal of travel research SAGE Publications

    When people make travel decisions, they consult their imagination, considering how they would feel in the respective travel situation. Both, researchers who examine this phenomenon and practitioners executing it, commonly hold the vague assumption of an evaluative cognitive process that enables tourists to factor such information into their decision-making process. The nature and functioning of such a process is largely unknown. The authors suggest that travelers, often subconsciously, mentally simulate future hotel stays and predict future feelings to inform their decision-making, a process referred to as affective forecasting. Executing an experimental design, the authors show that actively engaging in episodic future thinking to trigger affective forecasting increases travelers’ intentions toward holiday accommodations. This effect is mediated by hotel trust and risk perception, demonstrating that affective forecasting is an effective way for regaining tourists’ trust and reducing their perceived risk during a pandemic. Contributions to theory and practical implications are discussed.

    J Schmude, Sahar Zavareh, Katrin Magdalena Schwaiger, MARION SUSANNE KARL (2020)Micro-level assessment of regional and local disaster impacts in tourist destinations, In: Tourism in changing natural environments Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group
    J Schmude, MARION SUSANNE KARL (2021)Tourismuswirtschaft [Tourism Economy], In: Humangeographiepp. 410-416 Westermann
    Marion Karl, Christine Reintinger, Juergen Schmude (2015)Reject or select: Mapping destination choice, In: Annals of tourism research54pp. 48-64 Elsevier

    The purpose of this study is to empirically explore tourists' destination choice processes. Destination choices are investigated using a combination of data on destinations and on tourists' individual destination choices. Data were collected in Munich/Germany in 2013 using personal interviews; 622 interviews were completed. This approach allows detecting reasons for the rejection or selection of certain types of destinations during the destination choice process. Results show that tourists often start the destination choice process with various combinations of destination types but act similarly when choosing the final destination. The investigation of tourist and destination characteristics results in a tourist typology that varies in regard to similarity and type of alternative destinations at different stages of the destination choice process. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

    MARION SUSANNE KARL, Jürgen Schmude (2017)Understanding the role of risk (perception) in destination choice: A literature review and synthesis, In: Tourism65(2)pp. 138-155 Institut za turizam
    Marion Karl, Gordon Winder, Alexander Bauer (2017)Terrorism and tourism in Israel: Analysis of the temporal scale, In: Tourism economics : the business and finance of tourism and recreation23(6)pp. 1343-1352 Sage

    While the relation between terrorism and tourism has been an important topic for tourism research, the questions whether terrorism affects tourism immediately and how long after a terrorism event tourism recovers are, as yet, not clearly answered. The aim of this article is to better understand the magnitude and temporal scale of the impact of terrorism on tourism. To this end, a research model differentiating between short-term and long-term effects of terrorism on tourism is developed and analyzed for the destination Israel using data on tourists from Germany. The results show both short-term and long-term impacts with a time lag between the terrorist event and the beginning of tourism decline of 1 or up to 6 months. An economic influence on the development of tourist arrivals was not detected, but seasonality plays an important role in the relationship between terrorism and tourism.

    Marion Karl, Christine Reintinger (2017)Investigating Tourists' Destination Choices - An Application of Network Analysis, In: EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF TOURISM RESEARCH15pp. 112-130 Varna Univ Management-Vum

    A better understanding of the complex destination choice process is highly relevant, both for academia and practice. Tourism research tends to focus either on actually executed or hypothetical destination choices. However, a discrepancy exists between these two types of destination choices which has hardly been investigated. Moreover, past research often studies tourists and their attitudes, needs or perceptions of destinations but not how destinations' attributes affect destination choices. To approach these two research gaps, this study concentrates not only on actual but also on hypothetical destination choices to better understand differences in the evaluation of alternative destinations. This study furthermore examines the role of the destination itself to discover the influence of destination characteristics on destination choices. Therefore, network analysis and set theory are combined in a new research approach which allows to analyse destination choices with varying closeness to reality whilst preserving destination information. The analysis is based on a quantitative survey of German tourists' travel decision-making behaviour. The results reveal changes in destination choices from multidimensional hypothetical choices to unidimensional actual and past choices. Furthermore, only few destinations have a consistent position whilst most destinations are either more relevant for hypothetical or actual destination choices. (C) 2017 Varna University of Management. All rights reserved

    Marion Karl (2018)Risk and Uncertainty in Travel Decision-Making: Tourist and Destination Perspective, In: Journal of travel research57(1)pp. 129-146 Sage

    Many studies on risk and destination choice focus on specific destinations or tourist characteristics in an isolated way, resulting in a fragmented nature in research results without a comprehensive understanding. Therefore, an integrated research approach is applied using tourists' self-assessments of risk and uncertainty in travel decision-making, as well as key characteristics of destinations at hypothetical and realistic stages of the destination choice process. The study uses data collected from a survey on German tourists' destination choice behavior. The results show that high educational levels and high travel frequencies are distinct characteristics of risk-affine tourists, while higher age groups are more dominant in risk- and uncertainty-averse tourist types. Tourists with varying attitudes toward risk and uncertainty in travel decision-making differ strongly with respect to ideal destinations initially, but choose rather similar destinations when it comes to the final destination choice.

    Juergen Schmude, Sahar Zavareh, Katrin Magdalena Schwaiger, Marion Karl (2018)Micro-level assessment of regional and local disaster impacts in tourist destinations, In: Tourism geographies20(2)pp. 290-308 Taylor & Francis

    The tourism sector faces severe challenges due to the economic impacts from changing natural environments as seen with the increased frequency of natural disasters. Therefore, analyses of disaster impacts models are necessary for managing successful tourism recovery. Typically, disaster assessments are conducted on a countrywide level, which can lead to imbalanced recovery processes, and a distorted distribution of recovery financing or subsidies. We address the challenges of recovery using the tourism disaster management framework by Faulkner. To calculate precise damage assessments, we develop a micro-level assessment model to analyze and understand disaster impacts at the micro-level supporting tourism recovery in an affected destination. We examine economic consequences of a disaster at a small regional scale arguing recovery from a natural disaster is more difficult in individual areas because of differences in geographic location or infrastructure development. The island of Dominica is chosen as an example for the model using statistical data from the tourism sector to outline and detail the consequences of a disaster specifically for communities. The results highlight the importance of damage assessments on a small-scale level, such as communities in order to distinguish between individual regions facing severe changes for resident livelihoods and the local tourism sector. We argue that only after identifying regional impacts it is possible to apply adequate governmental subsidies and development strategies for a country's tourism sector and residents in a continuously changing environment in the hopes of mitigating future financial losses and future climate change impacts.

    Philipp Namberger, Sascha Jackisch, Jürgen Schmude, Marion Karl (2019)Overcrowding, Overtourism and Local Level Disturbance: How Much Can Munich Handle?, In: Tourism planning & development16(4)pp. 452-472 Routledge

    City tourism has been booming for years. As a result, the number of tourists per inhabitant increases in many city destinations. This can lead to conflicts over the simultaneous (over-)use of spaces, often referred to as overtourism. Therefore, many studies of over-visited city destinations focus on the social carrying capacity. Whereas many studies investigate one aspect created by overtourism, the present study concentrates on the city as a whole with all its distinct tourist phenomena. Against this background the social carrying capacity of Munich is analyzed by focusing on the perception and evaluation of different forms of tourism in Munich and their specific impact on the daily life of the inhabitants. A survey conducted in 2018 identifies how the inhabitants of Munich perceive different forms of urban tourism, how much they feel disturbed by them and how they react to them, for example by avoiding the identified tourist spaces. The paper outlines that there are different forms of overtourism, and the phenomenon tends to be more complex than the term suggests, and that it is crucial to differentiate between the various forms of urban tourism depending on the number of tourists, their characteristics, and their spatial and temporal distribution.

    Jürgen Schmude, Marion Karl, Florian Weber (2020)Tourism and Terrorism: Economic impact of terrorist attacks on the tourism industry. The example of the destination of Paris, In: Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftsgeographie64(2)pp. 88-102 De Gruyter

    Cities are popular destinations for international tourism that in recent years have increasingly become the target of terrorist attacks affecting the tourism industry. In this study, the economic damage caused by the terror attacks is calculated for the destination Paris, differentiated by sectors and source markets. For this purpose, the revenue shortfalls caused by the terrorist attacks of 2015 for the tourism industry in Paris are calculated. Taking into account the decreasing number of visitors, discounts granted by the accommodation sector as well as additional expenditures for marketing or loss of revenue by tourism service providers (e. g. in the transport sector), the shortfall of revenues in the tourism sector amounts to at least € 2 bn in the period 2015 to 2017.

    Marion Karl, Birgit Muskat, Brent W. Ritchie (2020)Which travel risks are more salient for destination choice? An examination of the tourist’s decision-making process, In: Journal of destination marketing & management18100487 Elsevier Ltd

    The paper examines which travel risks are more salient for tourists' destination choice. An integrated travel-decision risk typology with survey data from 835 potential tourists is developed and tested. Specifically, this paper explores the interplay of risk types, tourist attributes and destination characteristics. It examines if travel risks linked to nature, health, terrorism, criminality, political instability are more salient for tourists' destination choice, and how risk perceptions influence tourists in the key stages of the decision-making process. Results offer an important baseline for future studies in the post-COVID-19 phase. First, the integrated travel-decision risk typology distinguishes between sociodemographic, psychological and travel-related factors. It shows that past travel experience shapes risk perceptions and impacts tourists’ future destination choice. Second, the study reveals that natural hazards are not the key barrier in the early decision-making stage of the destination choice process. Third, tourist segments that are resilient to certain risks are identified. This paper concludes with implications for the tourism practice with recommendations on how to manage travel risk and decision-making behaviours in the post-COVID-19 phase. •The decision-maker, risk type and destination explain travel decision-making.•Some tourist segments are only resilient to certain risk types.•Risk adverse tourists are drawn to the familiarity of well-known destinations.•Risk resilient tourists are attracted by the novelty of less known destinations.•Past travel experience shapes risk perception and impacts future destination choice.

    Marion Karl, Alexander Bauer, W. Brent Ritchie, Marlena Passauer (2020)The impact of travel constraints on travel decision-making: A comparative approach of travel frequencies and intended travel participation, In: Journal of destination marketing & management18100471 Elsevier Ltd

    Understanding the mechanism of vacation decision-making and the factors that influence pleasure travel behavior is crucial for tourism management and marketing. Past studies analyze the influence of constraints on travel behavior but neglect other relevant factors that influence travel behavior. This study develops a comparative research framework to estimate the individual impact of travel constraints on travel frequencies (short and long trips) and travel intentions while controlling for sociodemographic and travel-related determinants of travel behavior. Three research models are tested using a representative survey on German residents’ travel behavior (n = 7798). The results show that some determinants of vacation decision-making differ between long and short trips, implying a dual system of travel decision-making. Differences are also found for the impact of travel constraints on actual and intentional behavior (intention-behavior gap). A secondary finding is the strong positive impact of travel motivation and experience for travel frequencies and travel intention. •Short and long holiday frequencies are impacted by travel constraints differently.•Actual and intentional behavior do no not follow the same decision-making pattern.•Travel experience and motivation are the strongest predictors of travel behavior.

    Marion Karl, P. Monica Chien, Faith Ong (2021)Impulse buying behaviour in tourism: A new perspective, In: Annals of tourism research90103136 Elsevier Ltd

    •Past research on impulse buying in tourism is fragmented and focuses on retail.•Impulse buying can be premeditated and occur along the travel planning trajectory.•Intertemporal decision-making provides a useful framework to study tourist impulse.•Affective anticipation and self-regulation are potential mechanisms.•Varied methods can be used to examine the impulse buying-travel decision nexus.

    Marion Karl, Florian Kock, Brent W. Ritchie, Jana Gauss (2021)Affective forecasting and travel decision-making: An investigation in times of a pandemic, In: Annals of tourism research87103139 Elsevier

    People mentally simulate future events, visualise themselves in these events, and then make predictions about how they would feel. This process is referred to as affective forecasting. Tourism lends itself toward affective forecasting because holiday experiences are not tangible and difficult to judge upfront. The authors conceptualise and empirically examine the mental simulation and affective forecasting in tourist decision-making. Using the COVID-19 pandemic as a proof of concept, they employ an experimental research design to demonstrate that affective forecasting can mitigate risk perceptions and travel decision-making in times of a pandemic. The findings highlight how affective forecasting can be leveraged to predict and change travel behaviour in the aftermath of pandemics, though implications reach beyond this context. (C) 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

    Shane Pegg, Marion Karl, Paul Harpur (2022)Negotiating work-based travel for people with disabilities, In: Current issues in tourism24(14)pp. 1945-1951 Taylor & Francis

    In an ideal world, inclusive travel services would value each person, support full participation and seek to embrace the similarities, as well as the differences, to be found in society. Anecdotally at least, it seems the unspoken truth for many individuals with a disability is that efforts to engage in any form of travel are often thwarted by poor service provision, systemic bias and discrimination. Using an inductive line of inquiry, this Australian study sought to detail how staff with a disability in the higher education sector negotiated their work-related travel responsibilities. Findings revealed that many felt compromised by current systems and practices with many required to go 'above and beyond' that expected of their work colleagues. The results of the research project serve to inform employers about the often unvoiced challenges employees with disabilities face when meeting work-based travel expectations. The findings also contribute directly to the transformative service research agenda by offering clear insight into how the travel and hospitality industry might be more inclusive of employees travelling for work-based purposes to the benefit of all parties.

    This exploratory study adopts a multi-dimensional approach to research on how travel-related risk perceptions are formed. It looks at risk-inducing factors both from the tourist and the destination perspectives. Using predefined risk characteristics observed in the literature, the study's leading research question asked to what extent these individual risk factors influence tourists' risk perception. A sample of potential German tourists to Israel was used for this exploratory study. Each interviewee was asked to indicate his/her socio-cultural background, travel experience at different spatial levels, risk-taking personality, level of perceiving Israel as a risky destination, and willingness to travel to Israel. Results show that accumulated travel experience does have a bearing on German tourists' willingness to travel to destinations that carry a high risk image but does not affect the perceived level of risk. Using the concept of geo-familiarity, the study discovered that risk perception may not only be developed on a country destination level but may be different based on spatial perception of risk. Based on these results, the study draws several risk-management and marketing strategies.

    Marion Karl, Lintje Sie, Brent W. Ritchie (2021)Expanding Travel Constraint Negotiation Theory: An Exploration of Cognitive and Behavioral Constraint Negotiation Relationships, In: Journal of travel research61(4)pp. 762-785 Sage

    Travel participation and preferences are impacted by a range of constraints, which can be overcome using behavioral (i.e., actions) and cognitive (i.e., mental) constraint negotiation strategies. Given the limited focus on cognitive negotiation in tourism research, this study aims to expand travel constraint negotiation theory using a sequential mixed-methods approach. Qualitative interviews (n=27) with travelers affected by constraints were used to identify emergent themes of cognitive constraint negotiation. A quantitative survey (n=978) was conducted to empirically test hypothesized relationships between constraints and cognitive as well as behavioral negotiation strategies. Results showed cognitive constraint negotiation (1) involved either changes in perceptions of a constraint or travel aspirations, (2) was positively related to behavioral strategies, and (3) mediated the relationship between constraints and behavioral negotiation strategies. Consequently, cognitive constraint negotiation was found to play a more important role than suggested in past studies.

    Maximilian Weigert, Alexander Bauer, Johanna Gernert, Marion Karl, Asmik Nalmpatian, Helmut Kuechenhoff, Jurgen Schmude (2021)Semiparametric APC analysis of destination choice patterns: Using generalized additive models to quantify the impact of age, period, and cohort on travel distances, In: Tourism economics : the business and finance of tourism and recreation28(5)pp. 1377-1400 Sage

    This study investigates how age, period, and birth cohorts are related to altering travel distances. We analyze a repeated cross-sectional survey of German pleasure travels for the period 1971-2018 using a holistic age-period-cohort (APC) analysis framework. Changes in travel distances are attributed to the life cycle (age effect), macro-level developments (period effect), and generational membership (cohort effect). We introduce ridgeline matrices and partial APC plots as innovative visualization techniques facilitating the intuitive interpretation of complex temporal structures. Generalized additive models are used to circumvent the identification problem by fitting a bivariate tensor product spline between age and period. The results indicate that participation in short-haul trips is mainly associated with age, while participation in long-distance travel predominantly changed over the period. Generational membership shows less association with destination choice concerning travel distance. The presented APC approach is promising to address further questions of interest in tourism research.