Author Bios (50 Words for each Author)

Dr. Pernille Eskerod is Full Professor of Management and Organizational Behavior at Webster Vienna Private University. She is originally from Denmark and currently lives in Vienna, Austria. She conducts qualitative research, and her research interests include stakeholder engagement, project management, project stakeholder management and change management.

Dr. Eva Zedlacher is Assistant Professor of Management at Webster Vienna Private University. She is Austrian and lives in Vienna, Austria. Before her academic career, she worked as organizational developer in the field of culture change. Her research interests include organizational misbehavior such as (cyber)bullying at work and diversity management.

Mr. Mauro Ortiz Bustamante is a master student and research assistant from Bolivia living in Austria. He is currently completing a Master of Science in Marketing at Webster Vienna Private University while working on multiple research projects at the same institution. His research interests are social media, digitalization, tourism and project management.

Ms. Anja Vuletic is a business administration senior year bachelor student at Webster Vienna Private University. She is originally from Belgrade, Serbia and currently lives in Vienna, Austria. Her research interests are tourism, sustainability and effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Abstract (150 Words)

Stakeholders are individuals or groups without whose support an organization would cease to exist. As the COVID-19 pandemic has caused severe disruption in many industries, the aim of our research is to investigate whether the pandemic is changing which stakeholders that are important for accommodation providers within rural tourism.

Based on a qualitative, exploratory research approach, involving secondary data and semi-structured interviews with accommodation providers in two Central European regions, our research suggests that new customer segments and digital booking platform providers are gaining more importance due to conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It also suggests that rural tourism accommodation providers intensify already established relationships with tourism support providers, e.g. nationwide or local referent organizations, rather than seek for new or additional ones. In other words, they don’t give importance to grow their stakeholder network during the pandemic when reaching for support, but instead give priority to the well-known.

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Changed Stakeholder Importance due to the COVID-19 Pandemic? - Rural Tourism Case Studies from Central Europe

Stakeholders are individuals or groups without whose support an organization would cease to exist. As the COVID-19 pandemic has caused severe disruption in many industries, the aim of our research is to investigate whether the pandemic is changing which stakeholders that are important for accommodation providers within rural tourism.

Based on a qualitative, exploratory research approach, involving secondary data and semi-structured interviews with accommodation providers in two Central European regions, our research suggests that new customer segments and digital booking platform providers are gaining more importance due to conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It also suggests that rural tourism accommodation providers intensify already established relationships with tourism support providers, e.g. nationwide or local referent organizations, rather than seek for new or additional ones. In other words, they don’t give importance to grow their stakeholder network during the pandemic when reaching for support, but instead give priority to the well-known.