In my article “Fête de la Soupe”: Rural identity, self-representation, and the (re)-making of the village in France, I report on the time I spent during my dissertation fieldwork in a village in Auvergne. While working on understanding local heritage management strategies and the ways in which villagers get attached to the place they inhabit and perceive changes in their everyday rural landscape, I had the chance to follow the planning of various local activities and take part in community events. Considered from the outside, winter in Auvergne might seem like an inhospitable time, when nature is at rest, the atmosphere humid and muffled, and the horizon often shortened by heavy fog. But Charroux proved that assumption to be wrong. The annual Fête de la Soupe -or soup festival- gave me an opportunity to watch a community in action as it promoted itself and displayed its idea of what it means to be a rural locality in today’s France. The present study aims at understanding how the communal preparation and consumption of soup once a year has affected festival participants, they relationship with each other and their relationship with the place they inhabit.
Festivals are traditionally community events, expressions local culture celebrating a successful harvest or aspects of a region and its people. Festivals are powerful engines of place-making. As major events, modern festivals are promoted widely and make potent contributions to place branding, tourism and place identity. As such, large festivals must be professionally managed to ensure success and minimise risks. In managing such large events there is a possibility that local authenticity can be lost if festival organisers apply a dominant ‘top-down’ approach. The top-down event management can create a same-ness amongst festivals, diluting the brand and limiting local participation and engagement. This tension between professionally managing a major event, such as a festival, and the desirable authenticity of bottom-up community involvement can be managed with the inclusion of fringe-festivals. Fringe festivals allow for experimentation and innovation, which are necessary for the long term sustainability of a major festival. With experimentation comes risk, but by allowing experimentation in the form of a fringe festival the risk is managed and largely mitigated. Fringe festivals can also allow bottom-up community involvement, reflecting wider aspects of the local community and adding authenticity and diversity to the festival proper.
Alternative currencies have been around for many years, to the point that they can be seen as a rather old technology for dealing with societal, economic, and developmental changes. Indeed, the first forms of alternative currencies were presented during the cash-poor interwar era in Europe and the US as an attempt to incentivise spending, discourage saving, and keep local economies afloat in a time of severe unemployment, poverty, and uncertainty (NEF, 2015). Fast forward almost 90 years, and similar issues pertain to the vast majority of our cities and towns, not only in the UK, but around the world. Unsurprisingly, alternative currencies are on the rise in various forms: timebanks, time-credit systems, local exchange trading systems, complementary currencies, convertible local currencies that are backed by the national currency, etc. More recently, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin have risen to prominence and gained immense political and monetary value as decentralised transactional networks that injected a huge influx of money into a new marketplace that was ready to dismiss the old system of fiat money (Matchett, 2017).
CounterCoin, a new alternative currency developed by a team of economic and social development practitioners, while still in its infancy, is already helping people make a change to the town centre of Newcastle-under-Lyme. We were recently invited to a meeting in the “headquarters” of CounterCoin, the Cultural Squatters community café in York Place shopping centre, in order to join the team spearheading the creation of this new alternative currency. Continue reading “CounterCoin and Cultural Squatters in Newcastle-Under-Lyme”→
Skinner, H., Sarpong, D., and White, G.R.T. (2018), ‘Meeting the needs of the Millennials and Generation Z: gamification in tourism through geocaching’, Journal of Tourism Futures, 4(1), pp.93-104.
By Dr Heather Skinner
Have you heard of the location-based sport of ‘geocaching’? No, I hadn’t either until a chance conversation with a colleague at the University of Glamorgan back when I was working full-time in the UK. This led to a really interesting (if long) research journey that resulted in the publication of this paper in the Journal of Tourism Futures. But, like all good stories it must have a beginning, so if you’re sitting comfortably, I will begin. Continue reading “Gamification in tourism through geocaching”→
Free of charge: A one-day introduction to postgraduate study in place management and leadership -28th September, 2018
Working for a BID, as a Town Centre Manager, in some other form of place management or looking to go into this field? Do you want to further your knowledge about this complex and challenging role? Would you like to understand how place management is developing and ensure you can be most effective in your role? Why not join us for a one day introductory session that explores place reputation management, introduces the content of our post-graduate courses in Place Management and Leadership and develops your skills.
The Institute of Place Management at Manchester Metropolitan University offers a suite of postgraduate programmes to support place managers develop their strategic insight and leadership skills, to enable them to improve the places that they work in.
The papers in this special issue are another valuable contribution to the examination of festivals and events beyond their economic and business application and benefits. The issue further explores the close link festivals have with the communities that support and engage with them and further emphasize the value and importance of the places where they are delivered. This sense of place and community involvement is a key driver in critical event studies (Lamond and Platt, 2016). The role that events and festivals (from sporting mega-events to annual arts festivals) play in place branding has been well documented (Herstein and Berger, 2014; Lee and Arcodia, 2011; Derrett, 2004; Jago et al., 2003). Further, the role of event-led policy in shaping urban regeneration strategy making has also received widespread attention (Foley et al., 2012; Richards and Palmer, 2010; Smith, 2012). However, as Richards (2017) suggests, we are seeing a shift in the understanding of the value of events from a branding function to a more holistic placemaking function. Indeed, de Brito and Richards (2017) acknowledge the tensions between bottom-up placemaking process that originates in communities and, more top-down, state-led interventions using major events.
Accountability for the Mayor of Greater Manchester: Participatory Governance in the 21st Century*
Guest article by James Scott Vandeventer**
It has been over a year since Greater Manchester elected its first Mayor. Since then, Mayor Andy Burnham has worked to build the Mayor’s office as an institution almost from scratch and within the confines of the devolution agreement with central government. This is no small feat, and the Mayor’s efforts should not be overlooked.
Still, there are deeper underlying issues that exist in Greater Manchester, which the mayor needs to address. These relate to his own accountability to the over two and a half million people within Greater Manchester. He came to power in a democratic election. But likewise true – and widely known – is that the long-standing Labour majority across the city-region meant his election victory was hardly a surprise (1). With approximately 29% turnout, the mayoral election came nowhere close to capturing the majority voice of eligible voters in Greater Manchester (1).
The 8th International Conference on Tourism (ICOT), jointly organised by IATOUR, the Technological Educational Institute of East Macedonia and Thrace, the Municipality of Kavala, and Middlesex University in the UK, and sponsored by Δημωφέλεια (Dimofeleia) was held in the beautiful city of Kavala on the Greek mainland 27th – 30th June 2018.
The theme for ICOT2018 was Emerging Tourism Destinations: Working Towards Balanced Tourism Development. This resulted in a really varied and interesting conference programme with almost 60 papers presented in a number of tracks including: Serviceology of Hospitality & Tourism; Cultural & Heritage Tourism; Place Image & Various Stakeholder Perceptions; Special Interest Tourism; Current Issues in Tourism; Expenditure and Consumption in Tourism; Tourism Demand; Sustainability; Tourism Development & Planning; Hospitality & Marketing; New Business Models & Digital Disruption in the Tourism Industry; along with many tourism case studies. Continue reading “CONFERENCE REPORT – ICOT2018, KAVALA, GREECE 27-30 JUNE”→
We recently asked Keith Still (Professor of Crowd Science at Manchester Metropolitan University and Fellow of the Institute of Place Management) to comment on the recent fires in the Mediterranean from his point of view as an expert.
“Due to the recent spate of wildfires around the world, spreading at an alarming rate, it’s worth remembering the golden rules for safety.
One factor that appears to be underestimated is the speed at which fire spreads. Having seen scientific experiments and been subjected to both smoke and hot room escapes at the UK Fire Services College (Morton in the Marsh – https://www.fireservicecollege.ac.uk) this may be the major factor that require more public awareness. In my youth, kids would often set fires in the hills near us, nothing to the scale witnessed around the world, but enough to give me an appreciation of wildfires and how quickly they can spread.