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|Born||27 Mar 1899
|Died||7 Jan 1974
|Institutions||University of St. Gallen|
|Alma mater||University of Zurich|
|Known for||Developing the field of tourism science|
Walter Hunziker (1899–1974) was a Swiss professor who founded the Tourism Research Institute at the University of St. Gallen, co-developed the scientific study of tourism, developed the travel savings fund concept, co-founded the Association Internationale d'Experts Scientifiques du Tourisme (AIEST) and the Institut International de Glion. He was a director of the Swiss Tourism Federation, member of Swiss Advisory Committee for Trade Policy, and author.
Hunziker was born in Zurich on 27 Mar 1899 to Jakob Hunziker, but Walter Hunziker's place of citizenship was Moosleerau, Aargau. In 1917, he completed a two-year primary commercial school (Handelsschule) in Zurich before receiving a Doctorate in Economic Sciences from the University of Zurich in 1923. His doctoral thesis was on the Swiss cotton industry, 1914-1919. Hunziker was first employed by Swiss Natural Gas (Schweizerischen Gaswerke) and the Eidgenössische Bank, before becoming the business editor and subsequently business and publishing director of the Berner Tagblatt.
In March 1936, Hunziker was hired to be secretary of the Swiss Tourist Association and, on 23 Oct 1937, appointed its director. In 1941, Hunziker initiated graduate studies in tourism at the University of St. Gallen. Hunziker founded a Tourism Research Institute at the University of St. Gallen in conjunction with that founded by Kurt Krapf at the University of Berne. The Institute is now known as the Institut für Öffentliche Dienstleistungen und Tourismus (Institute for Public Service and Tourism). In 1942, Hunziker collaborated with Krapf (director of the Bern Research Institute of Tourism) to publish the "Outline of the General Teaching of Tourism" (Grundriss der Allgemeinen Fremdenverkehrslehre), which became the standard work for basic research in tourism. As part of this text, Hunziker and Krapf developed one of the first broadly accepted definitions of "tourism" (Fremdenverkehr), roughly translated as "Tourism is the sum of the phenomena and relationships arising from the travel and stay of non-residents, in so far as they do not lead to permanent residence and are not connected with any earning activity." A year later Hunziker published a book on the system of "scientific tourism research" (System und Hauptprobleme einer wissenschaftlichen Fremdenverkehrslehre) in which he tried to establish a "completely new discipline" as a branch of sociology; however, the attempt failed. But Hunziker and Krapf continued to examine tourism not only from an economic perspective, but also from a sociological one. Hunziker did not want tourism to have a negative impact on the cultural values of either the destination or the tourist. In 1972, Dr. Hunziker defined the essential elements of tourism science as:
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