Developing capacity and capability in rural Albania

Dr Heather Skinner, Chair of the IPM’s Responsible Tourism SIG, has recently returned from 2 weeks teaching in Albania. Heather is one of a number of international academics that contribute to delivering the formal classroom based theory sessions for the BA Business and Economics at the Faculty of Business and Technology at Nehemiah Gateway University in rural Buçimas, a small town in the Pogradec Municipality in the Korçë region of Albania, located around 130 km from the nation’s capital, Tiranë.

by Heather Skinner

Albania, like many former communist countries across the European continent, has found that it is not always easy to overturn the impact of centralization to both education and to the economy, or to turn around educational concepts that have been ingrained over many years of a communist regime.

“Regional development becomes critical for a country where almost 60% of its population live in rural areas, where almost half are engaged in only small-scale subsistence based agricultural activities.”

This makes it difficult for the nation to reap the economic benefits of the creation of a growing liberalized free-market economy, particularly underpinned by forward looking entrepreneurial business and management programmes within an adaptive and supportive HE infrastructure. Continue reading “Developing capacity and capability in rural Albania”

Representations of Place in Music

Steve Knightly

by Dr Heather Skinner

I have always been interested in folk music, from being introduced to Welsh folk songs at school, and then through attendances at folk clubs in my teens, to much more recently when I ran a folk music club in my local town before I emigrated to Corfu in 2013. Around 15 years ago, at a folk festival in the South West of England, I first encountered the duo “Show of Hands”, although Steve Knightley and Phil Beer had been performing together as Show of Hands since the mid-1980s, and have performed as a trio with Miranda Sykes on and off since 2004. Show of Hands performs and records a mix of traditional and original songs. Apart from the sheer exuberance of the performers, what really struck me about their music was the inextricable link between their songs and the places about which the lyrics related. Indeed, the band’s own Facebook page stresses that “being rooted in Devon and the West Country … is part of the very fabric of this band and our material is closely entwined with its social history and geography”. Continue reading “Representations of Place in Music”

Attracting MICE: Business Tourists’ Perceptions of Destinations

Business tourists and MICE
By SwissTech Convention Center, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Dr Heather Skinner* has undertaken research into “Business Tourists’ Perceptions of Nation Brands and Capital City Brands: A comparison between Dublin / Republic of Ireland, and Cardiff / Wales”. Her research paper is soon to be published in the Journal of Marketing Management (JMM).

MICE is the acronym used for the highly lucrative Meetings, Incentives, Conferences/Conventions and Events/Exhibitions market, and is often used to describe various forms of business tourism. The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) is the industry body for the global meetings industry, using a definition of business tourism as ‘the provision of facilities and services to the millions of delegates who annually attend meetings, congresses, exhibitions, business events, incentive travel and corporate hospitality’.

Continue reading “Attracting MICE: Business Tourists’ Perceptions of Destinations”

Best paper award at the Academy of Marketing

AM2016 presentationby Dr Heather Skinner

The Academy of Marketing conference attracts over 350 international marketing academics each year. Last year I was very privileged to be awarding the prize for Best Paper in the Place Marketing and Branding Track to the winners, this year I was even more delighted to win this Best Paper in Track prize myself. I have been attending the Academy of Marketing conference since 2001, and over the years have presented research on a wide range of subjects, but mainly on issues relating to Place Marketing and Branding, with my first ever paper “How Cymru Became Cool: An Examination of Wales’ Culture Production System 1990 – 2000” being based on work arising from my masters’ thesis. In 2008, at the Academy of Marketing Conference held in Aberdeen, I was awarded not only Best Paper in the Reflective Marketing Track, but also Best Paper in Conference overall for my work “The emergence and development of Place Marketing’s confused identity”, a full version of which was then published that year in the Journal of Marketing Management. Continue reading “Best paper award at the Academy of Marketing”

Why the IPM directors are voting to stay in the EU

With the UK moving fast towards the referendum to stay in or leave the EU, we at the Institute of Place Management decided to join our voices with others. As the campaign is becoming increasingly irrational what we can only offer here are our own personal views.

‘The IPM believes Britain remaining in Europe is in the interests of all European places, and their management and development. Here is what the IPM Directors have to say on the matter, all of whom have extensive experience of working with place management practitioners.’ Prof Dominic Medway

Continue reading “Why the IPM directors are voting to stay in the EU”

3rd IPM Research Seminar on 18th May, 2016


IPM research seminars are regular events, where members meet to exchange information on their current research.  Below you can find short summaries of the projects presented during the IPM research seminar on 18th May 2016. If you want to know more about the research undertaken by IPM members simply contact us at or visit our research pages:

Chris Stone: “Tourist Taxes & Sustainability in Place Management”

Continue reading “3rd IPM Research Seminar on 18th May, 2016”

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.

Continue reading “What key issues affect tourism on Greek Islands?”