Department of Marketing

  • Center for Tourism and Culture Management (TCM)

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 on crisis management, or 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
  • Crisis management
  • Over-Tourism
  • Tourism and destination brands
  • Place marketing and branding (especially city branding)
  • Participatory place marketing
  • Brand complexity and brand management
Administrative tasks

Sebastian is the Academic Director (line coordinator) of the Master in Sustainable Tourism and Hospitality Management

Social media
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  • Touristic Servicescapes and Spatial Design
  • Tourism & Hospitality Project Thesis
  • City Branding and Tourism

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.; Kock, F. (2020): The coronavirus pandemic: A critical discussion of a tourism research agenda. Tourism Management, 81: 12.2020.
  • 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:
Yiannis Kouropalatis; Sebastian Zenker; Robert E. Morgan; Adam Lindgreen / Diffusion and Future Influence of Tourism Research : Addressing the How and When Questions of Tourism Knowledge Structures.
In: Journal of Travel Research, 31.3.2023
Journal article > peer review
Erik Braun; Sebastian Zenker / In Governments We Trust : A Two-Country Brexit Field Experiement on Perceived Uncertainty as Mediator for Consumer Decisions .
In: Journal of Business Research, Vol. 138, 1.2022, p. 335-346
Journal article > peer review
Sebastian Zenker / Post-COVID-19 Urban Tourism Research
In: A Research Agenda for Urban Tourism. ed. /Jan van der Borg. Cheltenham : Edward Elgar Publishing 2022, p. 281-293
Book chapter > peer review
Adam Lindgreen; C. Anthony Di Benedetto; Roderick J. Brodie; Sebastian Zenker / Teaching : How to Ensure Quality Teaching, and How to Recognize Teaching Qualifications.
In: Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 100, 2022, 5 p., p. A1-A5
Szilvia Gyimothy Mørup-Petersen; Erik Braun; Sebastian Zenker / Travel-at-home : Paradoxical Effects of a Pandemic Threat on Domestic Tourism.
In: Tourism Management, Vol. 93, 12.2022, p. 1-14
Journal article > peer review
Sebastian Zenker / Six Propositions for Place Marketing : A Critical Discussion of the Current State of Our Field.
In: Marketing Countries, Places, and Place-associated Brands: Identity and Image . . ed. /Nicolas Papadopoulos ; Mark Cleveland. Cheltenham : Edward Elgar Publishing 2021, p. 63-75
Book chapter > peer review
Sebastian Zenker; Erik Braun; Szilvia Gyimothy Mørup-Petersen / Too Afraid to Travel? : Development of a Pandemic (COVID-19) Anxiety Travel Scale (PATS).
In: Tourism Management, Vol. 84, 6.2021
Journal article > peer review
Erik Braun; Szilvia Gyimothy Mørup-Petersen; Sebastian Zenker / Travel Confidence in Troubled Times
Abstract from 29th Nordic Symposium on Tourism and Hospitality Research, 2021
Conference abstract for conference > peer review
Jano Jimenez-Barreto; Sandra Loureiro; Erik Braun; Erose Sthapit; Sebastian Zenker / Use Numbers not Words! : Communicating Hotels’ Cleaning Programs for COVID-19 from the Brand Perspective.
In: International Journal of Hospitality Management, Vol. 94, 4.2021
Journal article > peer review
Sebastian Zenker; Florian Kock / The Coronavirus Pandemic : A Critical Discussion of a Tourism Research Agenda.
In: Tourism Management, Vol. 81, 12.2020
Journal article > peer review
More results... (total 65 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: 2018 – ongoing; Client: Bundesverband City- und Stadtmarketing e.V. (bcsd e.V.); Project: Regular Place Brand Management Seminars (Spring/Autumn)

•Date: 11/2022 – 05/2023; Client: Brandmeyer Markenberatung GmbH & Marketing Osnabrück GmbH; Project: Brand Measurement Osnabrück

•Date: 03/2023; Client: ESIC Business & Marketing School; Project: Conference Keynote & Panel Discussion on Place Branding (Malaga, Spain).

•Date: 03/2023; Client: Industrie und Handelskammer (IHK) Nord Westfalen; Project: District Branding Seminar.

•Date: 09/2022 – 03/2023; Client: Brandmeyer Markenberatung GmbH & Tourismus-Agentur Schleswig-Holstein (TASH); Project: Brand Measurement Destination Brand Schleswig-Holstein.

•Date: 06/2022 –  03/2023; Client: Brandmeyer Markenberatung GmbH & Bielefeld Marketing GmbH; Project: Brand Measurement & Touchpoint-Management Bielefeld.

•Date: 03/2022; Client: Hamburg Marketing GmbH (HMG); Project: Selection Committee for Brand Consultancy.

•Date: 09/2021; Client: IMORDE Projekt- & Kulturberatung GmbH; Project: Keynote Netzwerk Innenstadt

•Date: 06/2021; Client: Bundesverband City- und Stadtmarketing e.V. (bcsd e.V.); Project: Keynote Sommerakademie 2021

•Date: 05/2021; Client: Event Consult GmbH & Bundesministerium für Verkehr und digitale Infrastruktur (Germany); Project: Keynote 7. Nationaler Radverkehrskongress

•Date: 01/2020 – 02/2020; Client: Brandmeyer Markenberatung GmbH & City of Jena; Project: Brand Analysis Jena

•Date: 06/2019 – 09/2020; Client: The Governing Mayor of Berlin – Senate Chancellery; Project: Consultancy Brand Berlin.

•Date: 11/2019; Client: Marketing Gesellschaft GmbH Mönchengladbach; Project: Brand Management Workshop

•Date: 08/2019 – 10/2019; Client: City of Copenhagen/ Københavns Kommune; Project: Consultancy Brand Analysis Greater Copenhagen.

•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: 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