How to meet the challenges facing heritage sites

Photo by Ian Southerin
Photo by Ian Southerin

by Heather Skinner*

A very thought-provoking session took place on Day 3 of the 3rd Corfu Symposium on Managing & Marketing Places. This session focused on the way we present heritage sites to visitors. The first paper, Presented by Professor Audrey Gilmore focused on management of sites that managers prefer to describe as ‘sensitive’ rather than as sites of Dark Tourism. Our 2nd paper by Dr Timothy Jung focused on the way Heritage sites can integrate both Augmented and Virtual Reality pre and post visit to engage with and enhance the visitor experience.


Thinking and Re-thinking about Places: Dark Heritage Sites –Audrey Gilmore, Roxana Magee, Andrea Reid and Lisa Harkness – Ulster University, N. Ireland

Photographer: Ian Southerin
Photographer: Ian Southerin

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

Photographer: Ian Southerin
Photographer: Ian Southerin

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.


This was a relatively short morning session, because a key feature of our annual event is that delegates are taken on site visits and trips to places of interest across the island.

Delegates arrive at Mavromatis - Photographer: Ian Southerin
Delegates arrive at Mavromatis – Photographer: Ian Southerin
Enjoying the sun at Theotoky Estate - Photographer: Ian Southerin
Enjoying the sun at Theotoky Estate – Photographer: Ian Southerin

Following our afternoon visits to the Ropa Valley to the Mavromatis Distillery and then on to the Theotoky Estate, our delegates then had chance to meet with Mr Konstantinos Nikolouzos the Mayor of Corfu Municipality in the Town Hall, before taking a walk around Corfu Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Centre.

Delegates meet the Mayor of Corfu - Photographer: Ian Southerin
Delegates meet the Mayor of Corfu – Photographer: Ian Southerin
A walk around Corfu Old Town - Photographer: Ian Southerin
A walk around Corfu Old Town – Photographer: Ian Southerin

*Dr Heather Skinner is the initiator and chair of the Corfu Symposium on Managing & Marketing Places. She is also the chair of the IPM Special Interest Group on Responsible Tourism.

Photographer: Ian Southerin

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