Saturday, 28 November 2009

Destinationen: München

Tollwood Winterfestival

2009 in München

Wie jedes Jahr ist Münchens Christkindlmarkt-Szene auch dieses Jahr wieder mit einer Alternative besetzt: Seit über 15 Jahren ist der Tollwood-Weihnachtsmarkt auf der Theresienwiese eine wunderbare Anlaufstelle zum schauen, kaufen, schmecken und genießen.

Tollwood Winterfestival 2009

Gerade der künstlerische Touch im Außenbereich macht Tollwood zu dem wohl beliebtesten Weihnachstmarkt der Stadt. Dazu kommen hunderte Stände mit Handwerkskunst, liebevoll und meist selbst gemacht, sowie ein Kaleidoskop an Weltfutter: indisch, thai, afrikanisch, ungarisch, bayerisch, italienisch, süß, salzig, bitter, sauer -- gerade beim Essen ist sicherlich für jeden etwas dabei!

Hier sind ein paar Eindrücke vom zweiten Tag, die vielleicht Lust auf einen Besuch machen:

Künstlerischer Eingangsbereich

Beleuchteter Turm am Eisstrand

Freiluftkunst: Geschnitzte Holzskulpturen

Angst oder Freude?

Etwas Süßes für Zwischendurch

Blume im Schilderwald

Und nicht vergessen: Bester Abschluss eines tollen Tollwoodbesuches ist und bleibt immer noch eine Feuerzangenbowle -- dieses Jahr ganz hinten auf dem Gelände!

Andreas Hauser

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Seminar: Intercultural Management

Guest Lecture at the

Free University of Bolzano-Bozen

The Free University of Bozen-Bolzano is a highly renown institute located in South Tyrol, Italy. Founded in 1997, the FU Bolzenis organized in one school (economics and management) and four faculties (computer science, design and art, education, science and technology). Today, it has about 3,100 students that are taught in German, English and Italian.

Free University of Bozen-Bolzano

The campus in Bruneck-Brunico, situated in the marvellous surrounding of the Italian Alps, is home to the tourism branch of the university. The major in Tourism Management, offered as a three-year course, is equally trilingual. It prepares students from Italy and other European countries for the challenges in the international tourism industry by practice-oriented study activities. This includes seminars, applied tourism projects, internship semester, field trips and academic work.

FU Bozen Tourism Management

Also this academic year, I was invited to lead a two-day seminar on a favourite topic of mine: “Intercultural Management: Working Successfully Across Cultures”. In this respect, the special touch in Bruneck are the students with their cultural background from South Tyrol, Italy (yes, it makes a difference!), Austria, Germany and even Poland.

The seminar was attended by a very lively and interested group of 13 students. An overview of the agenda is provided by the agenda:
  • What is culture?
  • Introduction to intercultural management
  • Culture standards and dimensions
  • How well do you know the world?
  • Business etiquette
  • Stereotypes
  • Case: Intercultural project management in Panama
  • Different cultures across countries
  • Conclusion & Feedback

The final feedback from the students towards the topic and the lecture was highly positive. It was the first time that the topic of Intercultural Management was offered in a seminar environment in Bruneck, and the students in unison appreciated the opportunity to look “out of the usual economics box” into a hitherto undiscovered issue.

The detailed feedback on the learning experience and the various exercises shows the high degree of acceptance of the topic and the interactive teaching methods applied:

Feedback on Learning Experience 1

Feedback on Learning Experience 2

Both the perfect organisation of the FU Bozen and the active participation of the students helped to make the seminar “Intercultural Management” a large success. The key learning experiences 1) to create awareness for different cultures and behaviour patterns; 2) to recognise its potential positive and negative influence on management issues; and 3) to overcome intercultural obstacles by applying both an open mindset and proactive management tools were absolutely reached.

But not only for the university, Bruneck is a lovely and charming place to visit. My snowboarding experience from last year on Kronplatz was certainly remarkable, and the opening of the Messner Mountain Museum in the castle of Bruneck in 2010 will add additional interest to the area.

But the best of it all is to be found in the food: a good and hearty dinner in the charming atmosphere of the Weißes Lamm is my very personal highlight...

Tourist information about Bruneck

Andreas Hauser

Interculturality: German Humour

Henning Wehn

German Comedy Ambassador in London

Who says that Germans have no humour?!? Well, most parts of the world would probably agree to that. But is this really the case? After all, not only with the arrival of several trans-regional comedians in the last years, Germans have proven over time that laughing is part of their culture.

With the clear mission to fight the unjustified prejudice of the lack of German humour, Henning Wehn, self-proclaimed “German Comedy Ambassador” has set out to the United Kingdom. There, he follows a highly determined undertaking: convincing the British of the fact that Germans in fact do have a sense of humour, and a good one. And who would not believe that Henning Wehn is serious when looking at the promotion picture of him and his buddy Otto Kuhnle?

Good Germans: Otto Kuhnle (left) and Henning Wehn

The Guardian put it frankly: »Who said Germans have no sense of humour? Gloriously unreconstructed comedy«. So the British seem to be prone to the sense of humour that Wehn and Kuhnle are putting on stage. A masterpiece of this intercultural showdown between the “Poms” and the “Krauts” is the 9 minutes and 34 seconds Tourism Guide to (West) Germany – not be missed!

Henning Wehn: Tourism Guide to (West) Germany

Too bad the two do not play anywhere in their Fatherland, but remain on the island to entertain their British audience with their sarcastic yet very pointy view of things: the war, football, current political affairs etc. All the while, they are playing around with beautiful stereotypes on both sides – and that brings them success!

Henning Wehn: “Not least thanks to the ludicrous stereotype of Germans not having a sense of humour I generated a considerable amount of media interest, both in Britain and back home in the Fatherland.”

Link to Performance Reviews

But even in Germany, there is an opportunity to cherish the efforts of the German Comedy Ambassador. Two DVDs have been published so far, both of them worth a try of getting into the specific rhythm of German humour at work:

DVD: Four World Cups and One World Pope

DVD: 1000 Years of German Humour

Both are recordings from live performances in the UK, and they can be acquired for the unbeatable price of only £ 10 (both together) – with Christmas right around the corner, this might be an altogether different present for Grandma or the Father in Law. Here is the link:

Henning Wehn's DVDs

And for those still not convinced of the quality by which our fellow countrymen promote the Germanic way of laughing abroad, here is also an article in DEUTSCH by the well-known newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung:

Henning Wehn in the SZ

In my personal opinion, this is a marvellous piece of art that truly shows the thoroughness and perseverance of German humour – and after all (and to put it with the words of Henning Wehn):

“Nobody says that humour needs to be funny!”

Andreas Hauser

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Intercultural Tourism Management

3-Day Seminar Lecture
at the
University Bad Honnef

The Private University of Applied Sciences Bad Honnef - Bonn ranks amongst Germany’s most renowned institutes for higher education in the service sector. In the field of tourism management, the institute achieves special recognition through its bachelor, graduate and master programmes. The strong focus on preparing the students for an international career is reflected by a world-wide network of partner universities and English as the exclusive teaching language.

FH Bad Honnef Tourism Management

The Department of Tourism Management, headed since the first days in 1998 by Prof. Dr. Helmut Wachowiak, emphasizes a well-kept balance between theory and practice within the different curricula. During the “Special Week”, students are offered the opportunity to attend seminars to off-curriculum topics that further enhance their competence.

This year, I had the pleasure of being invited to give a 3-day seminar at the campus in Bad Honnef – with the topic of “Intercultural Tourism Projects”.

Cover Page of the Presentation

Within the three days, I took the liberty of offering a kaleidoscope of different topics combined into a common theme: business ethics and sustainable tourism; international destination development in the Arab World and Latin America; and intercultural management.

An overview of the three days is provided by the agenda:

Day 1: Sustainable Tourism
  • Introduction to sustainable tourism
  • Business ethics in tourism
  • Worldwide tourism destinations
  • Corporate social responsibility CSR
  • Sustainable destination development

Day 2: Destination Development
  • Sustainable tourism development: Qatar
  • Tourism planning
  • Tourism area life cycle
  • Resort development in Cancún/Mexico
  • Introduction to interculturality

Day 3: Intercultural Management
  • Definition of intercultural management
  • Germany and the Germans
  • Cultural dimensions and models
  • Intercultural project management
  • International business etiquette

The group of 18 students was highly motivated and participating actively in the seminar and the various exercises. On the basis of my experience, I focused on strongly interactive methods such as moderated discussions, group work, critical incidents, film presentation, case studies, audio clips and even role plays.

The response from the students was highly positive, which is also reflected in the qualitative feedback that they gave at the end of the lecture.

Student Feedback FH Bad Honnef Part 1

Student Feedback FH Bad Honnef Part 2

All in all I can say it was also for me a great experience to interact with the students in an atmosphere away from the pressure of grades and evaluations. And the feedback showed that some new thoughts found their way into the heads of the students.

And this is what in the end actually makes the difference in the future.

Andreas Hauser