Naked Yoga on the Beach

Labyrinth on Arillas Beach, Corfu. Image: Green Corfu

by Dr Heather Skinner and Pepé Soomers

In a special issue of the International Journal of Tourism Anthropology focusing on “Niche Tourism and Residents’ Well-Being in Island Destinations” Dr Heather Skinner, IPM Senior Fellow and Chair of the IPM’s Visiting Places Special Interest Group, and Pepé Soomers, an independent researcher and member of the spiritual community in the small village of Arillas situated in the North West of the Greek island of Corfu, have written an article based on their research into the way spiritual tourism has had a transformational effect on the place and its residents.

Skinner, H. and Soomers, P. (2019) ‘Spiritual tourism on the island of Corfu: Positive impacts of niche tourism versus the challenges of contested space’ International Journal of Tourism Anthropology, 7(10), pp. 21-39. DOI: 10.1504/IJTA.2019.098099

Corfu is a relatively small island, only 64km in length and 32km at its widest point, with a permanent resident population of around 120,000, 40% of which live in the main town. The island, situated between the East of the boot of Italy, and West of the border between Greece and Albania, has attracted tourists since the late 1960s and early 1970s. However, since the boom time of the 1980s and early 1990s there has been a decline in numbers of tourists visiting the island. Those that do visit, especially those taking All-Inclusive packages, are spending less time and money in local tourism-related businesses such as restaurants, tavernas, bars and shops. The tourist season that used to see resorts all across the island full of holidaymakers from April to October is now basically reduced to the high season of July and August in many places.

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Corfu Announced as the Best European Film and TV Location

Photo by Ian Southerin, Location Photography

by Dr Heather Skinner

Corfu is a small Greek island in the Ionian Sea. Its location is just to the East of the heel of Italy, and to the West of the Greek mainland and the coast of Albania.

Corfu gathered popularity as an island tourism destination during the 1970s and 80s, particularly with visitors from the UK, although tourism to the island had started much earlier than that.


If you would like to enjoy this beautiful island in person there is still time. The deadline for submission of 1000 word abstracts has been extended to 7th January 2019.

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Meet the IPM: Interview with Dr Heather Skinner

 

Dr Heather Skinner
Dr Heather Skinner

Dr Heather Skinner is a fellow of the Institute of Place Management and was recently appointed Chair of the IPM Special Interest Group on Responsible Tourism. She is now based in Corfu having moved there in 2013 following a 15 year academic career at the University of South Wales (formerly the University of Glamorgan) where she was Reader in Marketing. She travels as a guest lecturer at a number of Higher Education Institutions, facilitates online learning and continues to supervise and examine doctoral theses.

Since 2011, Heather has been researching issues concerning the future of tourism in Corfu, in particular, how Corfu, along with many other mature European destinations, can address the problem of declining numbers of middle-market independent tourists from its key source markets. This work has been undertaken alongside her main research into other place management and marketing issues, with a current focus on responsible tourism.

Heather Skinner have chaired the annual Corfu Symposium on Managing & Marketing Places since its inception in 2013. Continue reading “Meet the IPM: Interview with Dr Heather Skinner”

Place, Image and Identity – from UK canals to fridge magnets

Photo by Ian Southerin
Photo by Ian Southerin

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. Continue reading “Place, Image and Identity – from UK canals to fridge magnets”

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. Continue reading “How to meet the challenges facing heritage sites”

What key issues affect tourism on Greek Islands?

Photographer: Ian Southerin
Photographer: Ian Southerin

by Dr Heather Skinner*

In this session focusing on Island Tourism Issues, delegates attending Day 1 of the 3rd Corfu Symposium on Managing & Marketing Places heard about the contemporary issues facing the islands of Kefalonia, Corfu, and Rhodes.

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The latest in thinking and re-thinking about places

Photography: Ian Southerin
Photography: Ian Southerin

by Dr Heather Skinner*

Read about the cutting edge research presented on Day 2 into the conceptual and strategic aspects of thinking and re-thinking about places – the overarching theme of the 3rd Corfu Symposium on Managing & Marketing Places. Continue reading “The latest in thinking and re-thinking about places”

Images from the 3rd Corfu Symposium on Managing & Marketing Places

corfu2

A very interesting and impactful event

The 3rd Corfu Symposium on Managing & Marketing Places heard presentations from 36 authors, with delegates representing 28 institutions from 15 countries across Europe, the USA, the Middle East and the Far East.

You can read the reflections on the event and brief abstracts from each academic and practitioner presentation here, and thanks to our wonderful photographer Ian Southerin, you can take a look at more images in a short video that captured the atmosphere of our fantastic event.  Continue reading “Images from the 3rd Corfu Symposium on Managing & Marketing Places”

What should we do to better manage and market places?

corfu3

By Dr Heather Skinner*

Find out what our keynote speakers from the 3rd Corfu Symposium on Managing and Marketing Places think.

On day 1 of the Symposium, Nikolaos-Foivos Kaloudis presented some of the work undertaken by the Tourism Scientific Society of Corfu into how we can develop alternative forms of tourism in Corfu and Paxoi

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Reflections on the 3rd Corfu Symposium on Managing & Marketing Places

corfu
Photographer: Ian Southerin

By Dr Heather Skinner*

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, and there is a current call for papers based on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Corfu Symposia. 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. Continue reading “Reflections on the 3rd Corfu Symposium on Managing & Marketing Places”