The geographer sees himself as an initiator of a promising regional development in terms of spaces and potentials. In addition to spotting the peculiarities, it is also a matter of locating and reinterpreting alleged disadvantages. According to Scheide, there is a tendency that Gurgl's location at the rear end of the valley is interpreted as “far away” when it comes to travel routes. However, it can easily be turned into an advantage by motivating conference and seminar guests as well as researchers to stay a whole week instead of just a few days.
"The message is: if you set out to come here, take your time. Wind down a bit and take advantage of the opportunities this Alpine space has to offer,” explains Scheide.
He also brings to mind a tradition that was common in Gurgl. "In the past, researchers stayed here for at least a week. When the archaeological excavations were still going on, the scientists stayed even all summer long," reports the director of the Obergurgl University Center, Alexander Zainzinger. According to his observations, increasing mobility and pressure to produce quick results also have an impact on universities: the length of stay has generally become shorter. But there are still research teams who benefit from the topographical location and the remoteness of the village in order to spend several weeks in Gurgl.
“If it's just about listening to lectures, you can also stay in town. But if the main aim is to promote scientific exchange, then Obergurgl makes an ideal place. Here with us, people are together from morning to night, they can hold meetings in the outdoors and use the evening for discussions. The organizers really appreciate that,” Zainzinger says.