Destination marketing is obsessed with place authenticity and for good reasons. Tourists, it is said, want to experience the ‘real thing’. What is that real thing? What are authentic places? We know that some places feel more ‘real’ than others, but what does that feeling mean? Is place authenticity the same as the ‘sense of place’?
Imagine the following situation: You are walking in the mountains, maybe wandering through a beautiful forest with no one around. You enjoy the sounds of the forest animals, the smell of the damp earth. The light through the trees makes you dreamy. You enjoy the solitude, that feeling that you are into some kind of discovery of nature and of yourself.
“There are things that give us the feeling that places are authentic, but when examined closely they are somehow flawed.”
Behind the trees you discover a small well-designed kiosk. As you approach a very friendly person greets you: “Would you like some information about the other sights in the area?” Suddenly you are not in the discovery of nature any longer. That very friendly greeting makes you feel that you had been duped. What you thought was an untouched forest was in fact part of the packaged local sights. Continue reading “Can you make authentic places?”→
From a consumer or traveller perspective there are many answers, but it is not difficult for a traveller or holidaymaker to say why they are travelling. It could relate to business, leisure, adventure, pilgrimage, to visit family and friends, to play golf or to watch their team.
“Increasing numbers of destinations are addressing whether we’re going to use tourism, or if it’s going to use us.”
It’s much more difficult from a destination perspective. The industry often simply wants more, accommodation providers in particular. They look to city and national governments to attract more tourists, more overnight visitors. The industry looks to government, the public purse, for its marketing and to attract and stage events which bring them their clients.
Maarja Kaaristo is a PhD Researcher and an Associate Lecturer at the School of Tourism, Events and Hospitality Management, Manchester Metropolitan University. She is currently researching embodied experiences and everyday life of the leisure boaters on the canals of north-west England. She holds a MA in ethnology from University of Tartu, Estonia and has taught Anthropology of Tourism and Ethnographic Research Methods there. Her main research interests include mobilities, materialites and sensory experiences in (rural) tourism, ethnographic methods and history of European Ethnology. Her most recent publication deals with mundane aspects of water tourism mobilities. When not boating or writing about boating, she is volunteering for Inland Waterways Association and Canal and River Trust. Continue reading “Meet the IPM: Interview with Maarja Kaaristo”→
Prof Cathy Parker reports on the Institute of Place Management (Manchester Metropolitan University) visit to the National Research University Higher School of Economics (Moscow and St Petersburg).
One of the main aims of the Institute of Place Management is to develop an international community of academics, practitioners and policy makers that are interested in making, maintaining and marketing better places.
In the spirit of international collaboration, Fellow of the Institute of Place Management, Professor Kirill Rozhkov invited Professors Dominic Medway and Cathy Parker, Directors of the Institute of Place Management at Manchester Metropolitan University, to visit his institution, the Higher School of Economics, at both the St Petersburg and Moscow campuses. The main aim of the visit was to consider examples of place management practices from inside and outside Russia and examine the potential for mutual learning on both sides. The considerable political and economic changes cities and towns within the Russian Federation have experienced make it a rich source of insight into the principles and practices of place management and development.
In Moscow, Kirill had organised a Masterclass on Place Management Practices in Russia, with Russian experts presenting their experiences. This was a real insight into how cities, towns and districts are managed, developed and marketed, and was well attended by over 60 delegates. Continue reading “The Institute of Place Management goes to Russia”→
Dr Chris Stone is an experienced UK academic and qualified university educator, regularly consulted by the European Commission, EU governments, and private and not-for-profit organizations, and with an international record of teaching, research and publication, and quality assurance in higher education. Holding the position of Senior Lecturer in Tourism Management in the School of Tourism, Events and Hospitality Management at Manchester Metropolitan University, his professional practice espouses multi- and interdisciplinary perspectives, with expertise spanning the natural and social sciences and with both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. Chris has been consulted on the allocation of public investments for tourism, environment and development & education projects. Formerly holding the position of Managing Consultant in a UK-based company, he remains an active researcher, presenting at international conferences, publishing in books and academic journals (single- and co-authored), is regularly asked to review manuscripts for major international academic journals and book publishers, and supervises and examines postgraduate research students. Chris has a career record as External Examiner in higher education (UK, Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean), has won and managed UK government-funded ‘Knowledge Transfer Partnership’ projects, supported UK exports when invited to speak on trade delegations, and has most recently applied his knowledge and expertise to progressing innovative sustainability initiatives in HE institutions.
Join us for another IPM study trip – this time to Athens, Greece.
This 3-day accredited educational trip to Athens is a combination of site visits, lectures & workshops as well as meetings with local place managers (local partnerships, markets, town centre revewal, local initiatives, local tourism etc.). Athens is a particularly interesting case study as Place Management here takes place in an extended economic crisis with the voluntary sector often taking over the role of both state and private sector.
Photo-sharing is currently becoming a huge part of social media activity. Several applications, with Instagram the most popular among them, represent people’s emotions. Such data pose new challenges for city data analysts as a lot of pictures are geo-tagged. City representation via images is not a new topic; it seems to us that Antonioni was one of the first with his “Blow-up”, who tried to catch the place by a camera click in his 1966 film Blowup. The digital era just brings new insights – as Ames and Naaman (2007) argued. Instagram covers additional aspects of this representation as sociality and functionality – we geo-tag places to give a special social signal of the places’ livability and share our emotional state-of-the-moment. Continue reading “Using data from geo-tagging to map the Happy City”→
For a number of years I worked with Professor Howard L Hughes on cultural tourism projects that focused on live entertainment in UK seaside resorts and later on culture as a tourist resource in CEE countries. This led to my involvement in a project to improve tourism sector standards in Russia.
So, for the past 3 years, myself and fellow academics in my department have been a partner in NETOUR, (Network for Excellence in Tourism through Organizations and Universities in Russia) – a European Union, Tempus funded project with a budget of over one million Euros. NETOUR’s main objective has been to encourage a sustainable change in research and education in tourism management within Russian Universities. Ending in October 2015, the project aimed to enhance effective relations between universities, the tourism sector, and governments, and successfully supported the development of new tourism programmes in Russian Universities. Continue reading “Improving tourism sector standards in Russia”→
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.