Department of Marketing

  • Center for Tourism and Culture Management (TCM)
Professor with special responsibilities

Room: SOL/D3.39

Sebastian achieved his doctoral degree at the University of Hamburg (Germany), where he also worked as an external Lecturer (2007–2010). He gained international experience as visiting scholar at the Erasmus University Rotterdam (Netherlands) where he worked as postdoctoral student and visiting Assistant Professor (2011–2014). Furthermore, he is a member of the interdisciplinary RespectResearchGroup and worked as a Senior Lecturer at the Technical University Berlin (Germany; 2013–2014).

In his current research, he concentrates on places as brands and on the management of such place brands. Furthermore, he is interested in the field of tourism and destination branding, especially in the differences between the place perception between tourists and residents – and the issue of so-called Over-Tourism. Sebastian’s work was presented at various conferences, book chapters, and international peer-reviewed top-journals, such as the International Journal of Research in Marketing, Tourism Management, or Environment and Planning A.

Primary research areas
  • Over-Tourism
  • Tourism and destination brands
  • Place marketing and branding (especially city branding)
  • Participatory place marketing
  • Brand complexity and brand management
  • Consumer research in the area of (brand) identification
Administrative tasks

Sebastian is the academic director (line coordinator) of the MSc Soc Service Management


Link to this homepage
  • Service Design
  • Co-Creation and Shared Economy
  • Destination Management and Branding
  • Service Management Internship Project

To insure an effective supervision, Sebastian is supervising a maximum of three master theses per year. He has supervised several theses at different universities (CBS, University of Hamburg and Erasmus University Rotterdam) and is currently only supervising place marketing and/or tourism topics. Due to his research background, he prefers more quantitative approaches. Furthermore, he only supervises in English.

If you want to suggest a master thesis topic, please write a short summery of your research question including an argumentation for its scientific relevance. 

Other teaching activities

Selected publications
  • Zenker, S., von Wallpach, S., Braun, E., & Vallaster, C. (2019): How the refugee crisis impacts the decision structure of tourists: A cross-country scenario study. Tourism Management, 71(April): 197-212.
  • Zenker, S.; Braun, E.; Petersen, S. (2017). Branding the destination versus the place: The effects of brand complexity and identification for residents and visitors. Tourism Management, 58: 15-27.
  • Erfgen, C.; Zenker, S.; Sattler, H. (2015). The vampire effect: When do celebrity endorsers harm brand recall?  International Journal of Research in Marketing, 32(2): 155-163.
  • Petersen, S.; Schroijen, M.; Moelders, C.; Zenker, S.; Van den Bergh, O. (2014). Interoceptive categorization: the role of perceptual organization on processing sensations from inside. Psychological Science, 25(5): 1059-1066.
  • Zenker, S.; Petersen, S. (2014). An integrative theoretical model for improving resident-city identification. Environment and Planning A, 46(3): 715-729.
  • Schnittka, O.; Sattler, H.; Zenker, S. (2012). Advanced brand concept maps: a new approach for evaluating the favorability of brand association networks. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 29(3): 265-274.
Publications sorted by:


Pludselig var hele verden interesseret i Grønland


Städte sind empfindliche Ökosysteme

Why One Size Fits All City Brands Are Doomed to Fail: And How to Do It Better

Michelinguiden uddeler nye turistmagneter

Planetariets big bang


Slut på halv milliard dyr kulturhovedstad

Alarm im Party-Paradies

The fight for the city

Die Flüchtlingskrise als Gefahr für den Tourismus?

More results... (total 31 results)
Academic Interests

Research Projects
Outside activities

Sebastian is founder and owner of the consultancy service Within this role, he consulted various places in their place branding attempts:

  • Date: 06/2019 – ongoing; Client: The Governing Mayor of Berlin – Senate Chancellery; Project: Consultancy Brand Berlin.
  • Date: 01/2020 – 02/2020; Client: Brandmeyer Markenberatung GmbH & City of Jena; Project: Brand Analysis Jena
  • Date: 11/2019; Client: Marketing Gesellschaft mbH Mönchengladbach; Project: Brand Management Workshop
  • Date: 08/2019 – 10/2019; Client: City of Copenhagen/ Københavns Kommune; Project: Consultancy Brand Analysis Greater Copenhagen.
  • Date: 02/2019 and 11/2019; Client: Bundesverband City- und Stadtmarketing e.V. (bcsd e.V.); Project: Seminar City Brand Management.
  • Date: 01/2019; Client: Stadtmarketing und Tourismusverband Cottbus; Project: Consultancy Brand Cottbus.
  • Date: 01/2019; Client: Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH; Project: Presentation Even as Place Communication.
  • Date: 07/2018 – 08/2018; Client: Brandmeyer Markenberatung GmbH & Tourismus-Agentur Schleswig-Holstein (TASH); Project: Brand Measurement Destination Brand Schleswig-Holstein.
  • Date: 01/2018 – 07/2018; Client: Brandmeyer Markenberatung GmbH & City of Reutlingen; Project: Brand Measurement Brand Reutlingen.
  • Date: 05/2018; Client: Bundesverband City- und Stadtmarketing e.V. (bcsd e.V.); Project: Seminar City Brand Management.
  • Date: 04/2018; Client: Hamburg Marketing GmbH (HMG); Project: Bicycle City Hamburg Campaign Evaluation.
  • Date: 01/2018 – 02/2018; Client: Stadtmarketing und Tourismusverband Cottbus; Project: Consultancy Brand Cottbus.

Besides that role, he also served with other outside activities, namely:

  • Date: 01/2018 - ongoing; Client: Emerald, Journal of Place Management and Development (jpmd); Project: Associate Editor
  • Date: 02/2019; Client: European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC); Project: Workshop Financialization of the Housing Market.
  • Date: 10/2018; Client: Oulu Business School; Project: PhD Opponent