by Heather Skinner*
Day 4, the final day of our 3rd Corfu Symposium on Managing & Marketing Places saw a very eclectic mix of research, but all on the topics of Place, Image and Identity. Dr Julia Fallon presented research into how to gather and use the stories of the many users of Britain’ canal networks; Dr Heather Skinner, Chair of the Symposium, presented the findings of her research into business tourists’ perceptions of conference destinations; Professor Eli Avraham informed delegates of the ways special events can be used to alter destination images. After lunch, Dr Amos S. Ron talked to delegates about the way travel itineraries, a rather underexplored source of travel writing, can provide insights into the way destinations are perceived by various organising groups; Dr Guenther Botschen, who had spent the previous afternoon in Arillas, presented delegates with the theoretical underpinnings of a really practical brand-driven identity exercise that can aid both the design and the development of places. Our final paper was presented by Professor Cathy Parker, on the topics of fridge magnets, a rather ubiquitous souvenir, and what a semiotic analysis of these can tell us about the way place images are chosen, promoted and consumed.
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. Julia was awarded the prize for overall Best Paper.
‘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.
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.
Photographer: Ian Southerin