Interview with Sciex fellow Katarzyna Klimek

Katarzyna Klimek in her office at work
© Tomasz Markowski

Katarzyna Klimek, a post-doctoral student from Poland, did a research residency at the School of Tourism of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland from 2010 to 2011 where she researched the destination management organisation approach. She has a master's degree in psychology and a doctorate in management and tourism. 

How did you hear about Sciex?

It was really a coincidence. The University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland (HES-SO) is a partner organisation for various projects of the Swiss enlargement contribution in Poland. As part of a project, representatives of HES-SO visited the university in Poland where I studied. They told me about Sciex. 

Why did you decide to apply for the Sciex programme?

Because I wanted to learn something new, in particular about the destination management organisation (DMO) approach. I wanted to research this area, as the DMO approach is not well-known in Poland. The objective of my research residency was to gain theoretical and practical knowledge about the DMO approach. I also wanted to do a comparison between Switzerland and Poland to find out if DMO can and should be introduced in Poland. 

What were your experiences in Switzerland?

I learned a lot about the DMO approach and other topics. I also met important people who introduced this approach in Switzerland. My residency opened many professional doors for me, more than I could have imagined previously. 

What did you get out of your residency in terms of your research?

I published two articles in 2012 and a book in 2013 on the DMO approach. And I learned a lot about the DMO approach in Switzerland. I can use this knowledge to introduce DMO in Poland. 

What do you do now?

After the research residency I continued to work at HES-SO for another four years. I worked on several regional and tourism projects of the Swiss enlargement contribution in Poland which are partnered with HES-SO. I more or less served as liaison between the Swiss and their Polish partners. I now plan to return to Poland to work at the university where I studied. I also want to try and introduce the DMO approach in Poland.