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
Link to this homepage
  • 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:
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 / 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
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, 2021, 5 p.
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
Sebastian Zenker; Sylvia von Wallpach; Erik Braun; Christine Vallaster / How the Refugee Crisis Impacts the Decision Structure of Tourists : A Crosscountry Scenario Study.
In: Tourism Management, Vol. 71, 4.2019, p. 197-212
Journal article > peer review
Sebastian Zenker / The Effects of Multiple Stakeholder Branding and Counter-branding of Public Places
In: Proceedings of the ASPA 2019 Annual Conference2019
Article in proceedings
Sebastian Zenker; Erik Braun / Cultural Heritage as a Blessing and Curse for Branding Urban Destinations
In: Cultural Heritage. ed. /Adriana Campelo; Laura Reynolds; Adam Lindgreen; Michael B. Beverland. Abingdon : Routledge 2018, p. 115-128
Book chapter > peer review
More results... (total 62 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: Fall 2020, Client: Bundesverband City- und Stadtmarketing e.V. (bcsd e.V.); Place Brand Management Seminar
  • 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 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