Karl Wöber is Full Professor and Founding President of MODUL University Vienna. He is also the chairman of the Austrian Private University Conferencesince 2012. He is one of four Austrian members of the International Academy for the study of Tourism, the worldwide leading network of Tourism Professors. He acquired his PhD from the Vienna University of Economics and Business where he became Associate Professor and Deputy Department Head at the Institute for Tourism and Leisure Studies in 2000.
Over the last 20 years Karl’s interdisciplinary research focused on computer support in tourism and hospitality marketing and management, decision support systems, and economics. His main research contributions are in the fields of decision support systems, and strategic marketing and strategic planning. The principle questions underlying most of his research activities are how to improve the decision making of managers and consumers by providing decision support tools. Within the general field of decision support system research, he particularly investigated various forms of collaborative decision making methods and methods for solving multi-criteria decision making problems. This research led to the development of the most comprehensive tourism marketing and management information system (www.tourmis.info) which is currently in use by more than 22,700 registered users in Europe and draws upon his expertise in tourism statistics, benchmarking, forecasting, marketing, and strategic planning. As a research group coordinator of an EU funded project for developing an intelligent recommendation system for tourist decision making he invented the concept of collaborative browsing as an alternative artificial intelligence technique to collaborative filtering. The recommendation cycle of this procedure was later applied by the Italian spin-off company Trip@dvice, who used the more intuitive name seeking for inspiration for this methodology. In some other work on destination recommendation systems he investigated the role of search engines in finding tourism information. In particular, he got fascinated by the idea that domain-specific search engines may better support the information search process of travelers than generic search engines and that combining content and usage mining techniques for unobtrusively observing and analyzing travelers’ information will lead to better recommendations of tourism related websites. His work on domain-specific search engines materialized in a number of real-time applications, most prominently the web portal of European Cities Marketing.