After his childhood in East Germany, Hasso Spode flew to West Berlin where he studied philosophy, history, theology and sociology. Today he is professor in Hanover and director of the tourism archive at the Technical University in Berlin  The main focus of his research is on historical anthropology and cultural history, but he also works in the field of social and political history. He wrote over 200 articles, mostly in German, sometimes in English (translations in Czech, Greek, Romanian, Spanish, French, Danish, Italian, Japanese, Russian), and wrote or edited more than a dozen books. He is co-editor of Annals of Tourism Research, Voyage. Studies on Travel & Tourism and other journals, and executive council of the Chinese Center of Drug Policy Studies and the international Alcohol and Drugs History Society; until 2015 he was vice-president of the Tourism Committee of the International Sociological Association.
In the 1980s Spode analysed the Nazi leisure time organization “Strength Through Joy” as an important means of social politics in the Third Reich. In 1989 he launched the "study-group for tourism history", the first institution of this kind; in 1991 he published the worldwide first omnibus book in this field of research. Meanwhile, he is a noted expert in the history and theory of tourism. In this connection, he stresses the romantic character of the tourist consumption and classifies tourist travel as "time travel aback" and, drawing on Reinhart Koselleck and Michel Foucault, the touristic space as "chronotopia". Further well-known works penned by Spode are on the history and structures of alcohol use and misuse, including the phenomenon of addiction which he regards as a social construction reflecting the need for self-control in modern societies. According to WorldCat, his book on the "power of drunkenness" alone is held in 186 libraries. Spode also worked on labour disputes, tobacco consumption and other historical and political topics.
- Alkohol und Zivilisation, Berlin 1991.
- Zur Sonne, zur Freiheit! Beiträge zur Tourismusgeschichte, Berlin 1991.
- Statistik der Arbeitskämpfe in Deutschland, St. Katharinen 1992.
- Die Macht der Trunkenheit, Opladen 1993.
- Kreuzberg, Berlin 1994 (co-author).
- Goldstrand und Teutonengrill. Kultur- und Sozialgeschichte des Tourismus in Deutschland. 1945 bis 1989, Berlin 1996.
- Wie die Deutschen Reiseweltmeister wurden, Erfurt 2003.
- Die Zukunftsfähigkeit Deutschlands, Berlin 2006.
- Ressource Zukunft. Die sieben Entscheidungsfelder der deutschen Reform, Farmington Hills 2008.
- Voyage. Studies on Travel & Tourism, Berlin 1997- (editor).