Reflections from the 4th Corfu Symposium, Part II: Authenticity & Place

by Heather Skinner

Themes from the 4th Corfu Symposium on Managing & Marketing Places 24-27 April 2017

What constitutes an ‘authentic’ place? How do we define ‘authenticity’? What does this mean for the way we manage and market places? Some of these questions were raised in the following papers presented at the recent 4th Corfu Symposium on Managing & Marketing Places, 24-27 April 2017.

Gillian Rodríguez from the University of Central Lancashire, UK, was awarded the prize for Best Paper at the Symposium for her paper “The Local Consumers’ Gaze Interpreted as Regional Food Brand Essence”. Her research concerned creating effective regional food brands characterised by branding actions which do not have the food product details at their core.

Caroline Whitfield is an International Food & Drink Entrepreneur and Advisor. Her paper “Creating Exportable Consumer Brands Based on Authenticity of Place” considered examples of food and drink brands that are linked (either authentically or not) to specific places. Her presentation focused on what works, what doesn’t work, and how health links are changing this.

Nof A. Al-Sufyani, a PhD student at Brunel University, UK and lecturer at  Prince Sultan University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, presented a paper questioning “Does Hedonism Create a Long-Term Value for Destination Brands?” Focusing her presentation on the relatively newly created destination of Dubai, while it is in no doubt that creating such an iconic destination brand as Dubai can certainly attract hedonistic tourists, it is uncertain whether such a focus can create long-term value for a destination.

“Mapping the Geographies of Luxury: A reflection on Place and Conspicuous Products in the Age of Globalization” was the paper presented by Federica Carlotto from Regent’s University London, UK. As brands often now source raw materials and production from long global supply chains, Country of Origin of many brands is not always clear, however, her research shows that associations in relation to places still shape and drive consumer purchase preferences.

Caroline Cavalcanti de Melo from the University of Lisbon / IGOT / ESHTE, Portugal presented her research into “Local Development and Creative Tourism: Case Study-Loulé”. Her work focused on authenticity in relation to how to develop creative tourism to diversify an already existing offer based on often ‘forgotten’ or ‘still undeveloped’ local heritage.

Here is the link to read the full 2017 Symposium Reflections.

All abstracts can also be read in more detail in the 2017 Proceedings.

All photos by Ian Southerin.