Post-Pandemic Tourism: Recovery or Reform?

Oia, Santorini, Greece. By User: Bgabel at q373 shared, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=22682391

by Dr Heather Skinner

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[1] 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.

Continue reading “Post-Pandemic Tourism: Recovery or Reform?”

The need for local place leadership in times of crisis: Part 2

Corfu, Greece

by Dr Heather Skinner

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)”.

Continue reading “The need for local place leadership in times of crisis: Part 2”

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.

Continue reading “Naked Yoga on the Beach”

Understanding Responsible Tourism

Overtourism
Amsterdam: One of the cities in Europe trying to push back against overtourism

by Dr Heather Skinner

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[1]. 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 or constraint.

Continue reading “Understanding Responsible Tourism”

Report on the 6th Corfu Symposium on Managing & Marketing Places

Photographer: Ian Southerin, Location Photography
Photographer: Ian Southerin, Location Photography

by Dr Heather Skinner

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.

Continue reading “Report on the 6th Corfu Symposium on Managing & Marketing Places”

Who really creates the place brand?

Easter in Corfu

by Dr. Heather Skinner

Skinner, H. (2018) ‘Who really creates the place brand? Considering the role of user generated content in creating and communicating a place identity’

Communication & Society, 31(4), pp. 9-24.

Some definitions the key concepts of Place Marketing and Place Branding are still unclear, and these concepts are still conceptualised variously in the extant literature as shown below:

1:         Place Marketing and Place Branding as separate and distinct constructs

2:         Place Marketing is part of Place Branding

3:         Place Branding is part of Place Marketing

4:         Place Marketing and Place Branding are separate constructs but can overlap

5:         Place Marketing = Place Branding

Continue reading “Who really creates the place brand?”

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.

Continue reading “Corfu Announced as the Best European Film and TV Location”

Gamification in tourism through geocaching

https://www.geocaching.com/play

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”

CONFERENCE REPORT – ICOT2018, KAVALA, GREECE 27-30 JUNE

By No machine-readable author provided. Marsyas assumed (based on copyright claims). – No machine-readable source provided. Own work assumed (based on copyright claims)., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=47021

by Dr. Heather Skinner

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”

Reflections on the 5th Corfu Symposium on Managing & Marketing Places

By Heather Skinner,

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.

Continue reading “Reflections on the 5th Corfu Symposium on Managing & Marketing Places”