Almost overnight the travel and tourism industry has gone from focusing on the problems of overtourism to undertourism, and in many cases, the real prospect of no tourism at all in 2020 due to the current Coronavirus pandemic. However, as the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) recently warns that international tourism could fall by as much as 80% in 2020 and as many countries have started to ease their strict lockdown measures, it is time to think about what we want for the future of post-pandemic tourism when we come out the other side of this crisis. By number, well over 90% of all tourism businesses are categorised as Small and Medium sized Tourism Enterprises (SMTEs), and many of these are micro-businesses employing few if any others outside of immediate family. The demise of tour operator Thomas Cook in 2019 hit many of these businesses hard. Now in 2020, tourism business have been hit by the response to COVID-19, an unprecedented global crises that has brought about travel bans, border closures, event cancellations, closure of tourist accommodation, and the grounding of flights all over the world.
Last week I wrote a relatively damning piece praising
the initiatives to help stem the spread of COVID-19 that had been taken by the
central Greek government, and castigating the lack of leadership evident at a
local level across the three Municipalities responsible for the Ionian island
of Corfu. There have been a number of developments since then that have
highlighted not only how local leadership is vital at times of crisis to gather
support from the local population for any crisis response measures, but also
that grassroots initiatives must be developed in a coordinated manner.
20th March 2002
My last blog post on “The
need for local place leadership in times of crisis”
appeared on the IPM website and a range of social media on Corfu. This received
comments from local Corfiots such as: “The local council’s
response has been pitiful. There still seems to be a sense that this will all
blow over pretty soon (if only)”.
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.
While the term “responsible tourism” is widely used
these days, are we really sure we understand what the term means, and who is
actually “responsible”? This article will address both of these questions,
along with some related issues concerning tourism ethics and the concept of
sustainability. While it has been recognised that, for tourism businesses,
responsibility is seen to encompass ethics and sustainability, there remains
little written about these issues. It is also important to
note that many tourism businesses are Small and Medium Sized Tourism Enterprises
(SMTEs) whose business focus is not always on such matters, especially in a
highly competitive and crowded market, in times of continuing financial crisis
We have recently said goodbye to all the delegates who attended this year’s 6th Corfu Symposium on Managing & Marketing Places. What am amazing group of people, all inspired to discuss various aspects of place management and marketing.
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”→
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”→
The Corfu Symposium on Managing & Marketing Places is an annual event organised by the IPM and is dedicated to the theory and practice of place management and marketing. Unique among academic conferences, the Symposium offers scholars the opportunity to engage directly with place making, management and marketing issues as each year the event attracts place practitioners among our delegates and includes opportunities for all delegates to engage with local businesses, policy makers and other stakeholders.
The 5th Corfu Symposium on Managing & Marketing Places held 16th-19th April 2018 explored the utopian or dystopian visions associated with the place practices we study, promote or enact.