The 2016 Symposium

First of all, here is where you will find the proceedings of the 3rd Corfu Symposium on Managing and Marketing Places and here are some photos of the 2016 Symposium.

The 3rd Corfu Symposium on Managing & Marketing Places took place 18-21 April 2016 at the Corfu Mare Boutique Hotel. The Institute of Place Management (IPM) once again provided formal accreditation for the Symposium. The Institute’s links with the Journal of Place Management and Development, with its focus on communicating with academics, practitioners, policy makers and local government, is also a driving factor behind the balance between academic and practitioner input into this event. The theme of this year’s Symposium, ‘thinking and re-thinking about places’ reflected current developments in both the theory and practice of place management and marketing with places and spaces being contested, formed and re-formed, and the symposium considered the way places are theorised differently in various academic disciplines, and what this means for the practice of managing and marketing places.


From this, our 3rd Symposium, the main reflection I will make is that echoed by Professor Cathy Parker, of Manchester Metropolitan University, and the Institute of Place Management, that this series of events focuses on both theory and practice, on both knowledge production and its impact, and that this is unusual at academic events. As we have done in previous years, the delegates to this event are happy to volunteer their time and expertise, in order to put into practice some of the ideas presented here that can help point Corfu in the right direction as the island faces a point of transition between the more traditional mass tourism and all-inclusive models, towards tourism models that are more contemporary, more responsible, and more sustainable.

Key to this Symposium being able to make this sort of difference will be the backing of strong leadership from the Municipality and from leaders within the academic and business communities; the identification of appropriate partners (for example, to leverage the Old Town’s status as a UNESCO World Heritage site, it is vital to partner with other similar sites); the identification of suitable funding for any initiatives, because it is acknowledged that Corfu, as a Municipality within Greece remains in financial crisis and debt and thus cannot afford the sort of investment that may be needed; and the identification of where relevant skills and talent on the island already exists (for example in the creation of content for the development of more Smart Tourism), where examples of good practice already exist in places that others could learn from (with Arillas being highlighted as one such place); and the identification of where skills may need some form of development to improve the tourists experience. Those involved in the Symposium therefore committed to trying to make a difference to Corfu, recognising that in order to make a difference to the island, that we may need to start small, on a business-by-business; resort-by-resort; project-by-project basis, and not at the more macro level of the island as a whole.

Dr Heather Skinner, the Symposium Chair, is also now announced as Chair of the Responsible Tourism Special Interest Group of the Institute of Place Management. Thus the Symposium’s links with the IPM become even stronger as we start planning our future events. This will enable us to consider practitioner, policy, and academic papers in vibrant, positive, supportive, and, most importantly, impactful sessions next year that can make a real difference to this island of Corfu that is our host for these annual events.

An important aspect of the Symposium is the opportunity afforded to delegates to visit places of interest around the island, and pay visits to local producers of speciality food and drinks, and local craft products.

Photographer - Ian Southerin_0362

Details follow here on the papers that were presented at this year’s event.

Photographer - Ian Southerin_0365

DAY 1 – MONDAY 18th APRIL 2016

Keynote address
Developing Alternative forms of Tourism in Corfu & Paxoi
Nikolaos-Foivos Kaloudis – Secretary of the Board: Tourism Scientific Society of Corfu
This presentation focused on why there is a need to differentiate the product and sub-products of Corfu and Paxoi to attract a better level of tourists to the islands by developing alternative forms of tourism and implement relevant strategies and policies.

Session 1: Island Tourism Issues

Cruise Tourism: Current situation and development prospects of the sector on the island of Kefalonia
Evangelia. D. Parisi – University of the Aegean, Greece
This paper presented the results of a survey undertaken with 304 respondents to show the current situation of cruise tourism on the island of Kefallonia and reflects the views and satisfaction rate of the visitors to the island, looking into the future development prospects of cruise tourism in the area.

World Tourism Day 2015 – Corfu Discussions
Heather Skinner – Institute of Place Management
27 September 2015 saw the 36th World Tourism Day focusing on the theme of ‘1billion tourists – 1billion opportunities’. This paper presented the findings from the World Tourism Day Corfu Discussions into the positive contributions tourism can make to the island.

(Re)thinking Tourism Discourse and Place: Beautific and Horrific Fantasies of Tourism Development in Faliraki, Rhodes
Aggelos Panayiotopoulos – University of Limerick, Ireland
Maurice Patterson – University of Limerick, Ireland
Peter Burns – University of Bedfordshire, UK
This work highlighted that negative social and environmental impacts of inadequately planned tourism development counterbalance the positive economic benefits. The authors turn to Political Discourse Theory to examine these critical dimensions of tourism development and the way it shapes place, focusing on the case of Faliraki in Rhodes, which has a long and troubled tourism history.


Session 2: Re-thinking and re-conceptualising place, sense and meaning

(Re)thinking Place, Meaning and Narrative
Maria Lichrou, Killian O’Leary, Maurice Patterson and Lisa O’Malley
Kemmy Business School, University of Limerick, Ireland
This conceptual paper considered the ways in which people engage with places in meaningful ways. Basing their work in Consumer Culture Theory the authors looked at how place narratives can bring together the temporal, interactive, and spatial dimensions of place.

Sculpturing authentic city brands through stakeholder narratives: a sensemaking, sensefiltering, and sensegiving process
Laura Reynolds and Nicole Koenig-Lewis, Cardiff University, UK
Sensemaking and sensegiving theory are applied in this paper as a means to explore the explication of power and conflict amongst multiple stakeholders within authentic city brands. An additional sensefiltering process is added to the analysis, exploring the processes whereby multiple meanings are distilled and a core understanding is enacted. A conceptual map of the process is developed, which is currently being empirically explored through two in-depth qualitative case studies of two contrasting UK city brands (Bath and Bristol).

Session 3: Practitioner Session – Place Making Initiatives in Practice

Festivals and Place Making
Alex Christou – Green Corfu
This presentation examined the contribution of a number of established traditional, and more recent modern festivals to place making in Corfu, with a particular focus on the resort of Arillas.

Olive Oil production and Place Making in Corfu
Spyros Dafnis – The Governor
This presentation considered the historical planting of olive trees on the island, how this has contributed to the entire ‘look’ of the island, and how basing a product on authenticity can create a premium brand.

Session 4: Practitioner Session – Place Making Initiatives in Practice

Re-Thinking Neglected Public Space
Michael M. Edwards – Chicago Loop Alliance, USA
Cities around the world are recognizing that safe, well-used public spaces are important. They are the building blocks for healthy communities, employment opportunities, quality housing, and reliable transportation. The Chicago Loop, the historic business and retail center where 325,000 people work each day, has a lack of accessible and engaging public space. This paper presented the case of the Chicago Loop Alliance, which, in 2015, implemented a placemaking strategy targeting long ignored public spaces.

Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose: Place making through skills development
Stu Rolls – RWA Group, UK
RWA Group, currently operating in the UK, is launching a low-cost online skills training package that can help tourist resorts, specifically from reaping the benefits of small businesses having an e-learning platform in place for their employees. Subscribers will have access to a low-cost e-learning site offering case studies, courses, and other resources to help improve individuals’ business skills. Content can also be tailored to suit each individual organisation’s specific needs.

Session 5: Place Strategies

Place marketing & place branding: A (tentatively exhaustive) literature review, “best practices” and some insights for practitioners
Renaud Vuignier – University of Lausanne, Switzerland
On the one hand, there has been an emergence of an academic discipline dedicated to place marketing and place branding, and on the other hand, there are plenty of examples of “best practices” in place marketing and place branding. This paper investigated these two sides, firstly, discussing the current state of the art, and secondly, presenting ideas about where the worlds of research and practice could find common grounds.

City Ambassador and City Citizenship Behaviours: Modelling Resident Behaviours that help Cities Grow
Viriya Taecharungroj – Mahidol University International College, Thailand
Cities need resources in order to survive, grow, and prosper. The ultimate providers of those resources are the so-called city customers, which comprise residents, companies, visitors, and investors. This research aims to deepen the understanding of one of the most important city customers, the residents, regarded by the author of this work as the potential active co-creators of the place brand, not merely passive beneficiaries of the city, the residents can be the active partners of the city itself.

Regional competitiveness, positioning and the link with investment attraction. The case of Newcastle-Gateshead, UK.
Iwona Maria Soroka and Eleftherios Alamanos, Newcastle University Business School, UK
The paper examined the extent to which regional branding influences direct investment on an area. The area of Newcastle-Gateshead in the UK is used as a case study in order to investigate how cities can be positioned as prime investment locations for potential investors.


Session 6: Place and heritage

Thinking and Re-thinking about Places: Dark Heritage Sites
Audrey Gilmore, Roxana Magee, Andrea Reid and Lisa Harkness – Ulster University, N. Ireland
This paper investigated the challenges for marketing management at dark heritage sites, places and institutions that stand as legacy to painful periods in history; massacre and genocide sites, places related to former penal institutions, prisoners of war, battle fields and many more. This study focuses on the opinions and perceptions of site managers at dark heritage sites which have begun to focus on visitor engagement and the education of a new generate of visitors.

Conceptualising the value of mixed reality for enhancing visitor experience at Heritage places
Timothy Jung and Mandy Claudia tom Dieck – Manchester Metropolitan University
Latest technologies can enable an enhancement of the visitor experience through interactive, informative and enjoyable information without interfering with nature and traditional landscapes. Focusing on the case of Geevor Tin Mine museum in Cornwall, UK, the aim of this paper is to conceptualise how a heritage place such as UNESCO World Heritage Site can add value to the visitor experience through the inclusion of mixed realities.


Keynote address
Back to Basics in Place Marketing
Professor Cathy Parker – Professor of Marketing and Retail Enterprise
Manchester Metropolitan University
This presentation focused on the way litter affects perceptions of place, with research showing not only that clearing litter from urban space is only likely to have positive outcomes and effects, but also that the removal of litter can improve the psychological health of citizens.

Session 8: Place, Image and Identity

Dreamed a dream by the old canal: a narrative on recreational space
Julia Fallon and Nicola Williams-Burnett, Cardiff Metropolitan University, UK
This paper addressed the narrative of the UK canals, by discussing this physical space outlining its use and interpretation, and contrasting light and dark narrative alongside the explanation of how these spaces have been viewed differently over time and why. This contrasting narrative therefore creates challenges for those responsible for the management and marketing because this challenging space is also used by multiple user groups with conflicting demands on the space.

‘Cardiff means one thing, Wales means a lot’: International business tourists’ perceptions of national and capital city brands
Heather Skinner – Institute of Place Management
The promotion of the characteristics of a nation often differs from the way its national capital city’s characteristics are promoted and perceived by visitors, and it is also of interest to explore the way the marketing of a national capital city for business tourism both influences, and is influenced by, the marketing of the nation itself. This paper considered these issues based on an analysis of data collected at the Academy of Marketing Conference held in 2013 in Cardiff, the capital city of Wales.

Hosting Events as a Tool for Re-Branding and Restoring Destination Image
Eli Avraham – University of Haifa, Israel
Many destinations around the world labor under a negative image that proves a barrier to attracting tourism, businesses and investments. The strategy of “hosting spotlight events” is used to attract various visitors in the hope that this will lead to an improvement in the destination’s public image. The goal of this article is to expand knowledge of the strategy of “hosting spotlight events” and to ask what kind of events are hosted by place marketers to reverse a negative destination image, and analyze the advantages or byproducts of hosting such events are.

Session 9: Place, Image and Identity

Christian Destination Images of the Holy Land: A Reflection of Ideology and Theology in Travel Itineraries of Pilgrimage Groups
Amos S. Ron – Ashkelon Academic College, Israel
Travel literature is an important genre for the study of destination images. Some of the well-known “traditional” pre- internet subgenres of travel literature include postcards, tourist maps, tourist brochures, guide books, travel books and journals, travel paintings and illustrations, and personal diaries. However, much less is known about contemporary travel itineraries. This research therefore focuses on travel itineraries of organized Christian pilgrimage groups from English speaking countries to the Holy Land, and suggests that they have at least three pragmatic purposes: instructional, promotional, and theological-ideological.

Brand-Driven Identity Development and Design Of Places
Guenther Botschen – University of Innsbruck
Josef Bernhart – Institut für Public Management , Europäische Akademie Bozen (EURAC)
Kurt Promberger – University of Innsbruck
This contribution is a continuation of a work in progress paper the authors presented at the 7th Euro Mediterranean Dialogue on Public Management in Rome, focusing on the development of the strategic brand identity for urban and rural territories, termed “Brand-driven Identity Development” (BID). The paper presents a framework for the development and implementation of place brand identities, called “Brand-driven Identity Development and Design of Places” that has been evolving during two decades of practitioner researcher collaboration applying action research approaches and techniques with top executives of public and owners of privately held organisations.

Consumption, place and semiotics: Around the world in fridge magnets
Dominic Medway – Manchester University
Cathy Parker – Manchester Metropolitan University
Sebastian Zenker – Copenhagen Business School
Cultural and often stereotypical understandings of a place and its people are reinforced through fridge magnets displaying iconographic traits. The significance of this may be amplified for those fridge magnets bought as gifts for those who may not have visited the place in question, in which case the signs and meanings interpreted by the gift consumer from the material object are likely to form an understanding of place divorced from an experienced reality. A tacky or garish fridge magnet for a place may be a great way of selling lots of fridge magnets, especially to those place consumers with a sense of irony, but it may not be the best representation or communication of the place, especially for those who have not visited it.

Round Table discussion and closing remarks
With Corfu and Greece remaining in crisis it is unlikely that any financial resources will be forthcoming to develop any initiatives. Symposium delegates have volunteered to help drive projects that can have impact and relevance to the island.