Thesis topic proposal
Márta Judit Sulyok
Spatial and temporal concentration of tourism mobility


Institute: University of Pannonia
business and management
Doctoral School in Management Sciences and Business Administration

Thesis supervisor: Márta Judit Sulyok
Location of studies (in Hungarian): University of Pannonia
Abbreviation of location of studies: PE

Description of the research topic:

Research topic
The spatial and temporal concentration of tourism mobility is not a new phenomenon in scientific research. The concentration, regarded mainly as a negative issue, does affect all kind of tourism destinations (e.g., coastal/waterside, mountain, city, and rural), and the performance of tourism actors (service providers/companies), so the sustainability of the areas (e.g., all year employment options). The reasons behind the imbalance (natural and institutional factors) were defined decades ago. However, changes in the economic (more disposable income enables more tourism mobility), in the socio-cultural (increasing attractiveness of trips during holiday seasons), and the technological (phones’ cell information enables to track visitor flow) environment underline the importance of addressing concentration continuously. International and Hungarian research mainly focuses on analysing the current situation, thereby reflecting the availability of the data and the special features of the destinations. External factors influencing imbalance in tourism mobility (e.g., correlation with macroeconomic data) are occasionally discussed. Implications and opportunities to mitigate concentration are strongly practical (e.g., developing new tourism products, experience, increased marketing communication, promotional activities).
Hungary is considered a one-peak destination with the dominant role of the summer months. Among the priorities of tourism development/strategies, various products and experiences can be found to decrease the temporal and spatial concentration. The increased importance of safety issues also calls for the need for this kind of research.
Suggested focuses of the research may include tourism destinations (e.g., destinations with waterfront areas), tourism products (e.g., health tourism), activities (e.g., sport), and segments (e.g., families).

Relevance of the topic
The importance of scientific research addressing the concentration of tourism mobility is underlined because the definition and theoretical context among tourism stakeholders have been developed, finetuned during the last years. Part of these changes is that instead of lengthening the primary season, stakeholders emphasise establishing new seasons. Instead of overtourism, more and more actors are in favour of using the term under-management of tourism.
The innovative dimension of the research could be that the results of the fieldwork (primary research) may be used for model building, may summarise the factors influencing concentration, the correlation between factors, and may identify possible solutions. Considering the available knowledge, new results may emerge from addressing a particular tourism product (e.g., health tourism), reflecting its – demand and supply-side – special features.
The spatial and temporal concentration of tourism mobility is a highly relevant issue, so research results have the potential of being disseminated in qualified academic journals.

Main objectives of the research
Mapping the factors influencing tourism mobility's spatial and temporal concentration (in line with the literature).
Identifying the role of external factors (e.g., macroeconomic data, social tourism).
Defining special features of particular tourism product (e.g., health tourism), demand and supply-side characteristics affecting concentration.
Based on the primary research results, model building aimed at a certain destination type (e.g., health tourism destination).
Mapping solutions, suggestions to mitigate the spatial and temporal concentration of tourism mobility.

Data, databases used during the research process
The available statistical data enables limited analysis of spatial and temporal concentration (e.g., the dominance of guest nights, meanwhile increasing the role of ‘invisible’ tourism).
Reflecting the availability of databases, desk research may be based on the performance of commercial accommodation establishments. This could be extended by other data (e.g., guests in spas).
To fulfil the objectives, primary research is needed. For that, complex (qualitative and quantitative) fieldwork is suggested.

Butler, R. W. (2001): Seasonality in tourism. Issues and implications. In: Baum, T. – Lundtorp, S. (eds.): Seasonality in tourism. Pergamon, Amsterdam. 5–22.
Sulyok J. – Mester T. (2014): A magyarországi turizmus szezonalitása – A kereskedelmi szálláshelyek vendégforgalma. Turizmus Bulletin. XVI. 3–4. 85–92.
Cuccia, T. – Rizzo, I. (2011): Tourism seasonality in cultural destinations. Empirical evidence from Sicily. Tourism Management. 32. 589–595.
Dávid L. – Tóth G. (2009): Hegyvidéki területek szezonalitásának problémái a Mátravidék példáján. Földrajzi Közlemények. 133/1, 33–42.
Fernandez-Morales, A. (2003): Decomposing Seasonal Concentration. Annals of Tourism Research. 30. 4, 942–956.
Herman S. (2005): A kereskedelmi szálláshelyek települési szintű adatainak hasznosítása. Területi Statisztika. 8. 5. 454–461.
Jang, S. (2004): Mitigating Tourism Seasonality – A Quantitative Approach. Annals of Tourism Research. 31. 4, 819–836.
Koc, E. – Altinay, G. (2007): An analysis of seasonality in monthly per person tourist spending in Turkish inbound tourism from a market segmentation perspective. Tourism Management. 28. 227–237.
Nadal, J. R. – Font, A. R.– Roselló, A. S. (2004): The Economic Determinants of Seasonal Patterns. Annals of Tourism Research. 31. 3. 697–711.

Earlier experiences related to the topic
PhD research: Sulyok Márta Judit: Víz, amiért érdemes útra kelni – A vízparti környezet turizmusorientált márkázása a Balaton régióban. Regionális- és Gazdaságtudományi Doktori Iskola, Győr, 2014. (Tourism-oriented branding of natural environment in the Balaton region as a tourism destination)
Sulyok Judit – Mester Tünde (2014): A magyarországi turizmus szezonalitása – A kereskedelmi szálláshelyek vendégforgalma. Turizmus Bulletin. XVI. 3–4. 85–92.
Sulyok Judit – Fehérvölgyi Beáta (2017): Nyitott Balaton: A turisztikai vendégforgalom szezonalitásának enyhítése a Balatonnál. In: Deli-Gray Zs. – Árva L. (szerk.): Turizmusmarketing esettanulmányok. Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest. 82–90.
Participation in international and Hungarian tourism projects:
Off to Spas (EU Cosme programme) – health tourism development during the off-season period
The Wine Lab (Erasmus+ programme) – wine tourism development in disadvantaged areas
EFOP-3.6.2-16-2017-00017 Sustainable, intelligent, and inclusive regional and city models – Mapping the characteristics of tourists to Lake Balaton (sub-project)
Other: BA and MA dissertation (topic: seasonality in tourism)

Required language skills: angol
Number of students who can be accepted: 1

Deadline for application: 2021-08-31

All rights reserved © 2007, Hungarian Doctoral Council. Doctoral Council registration number at commissioner for data protection: 02003/0001. Program version: 2.2358 ( 2017. X. 31. )