What should we do to better manage and market places?


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

Photographer – Ian Southerin

Modern trends in tourism suggest diversification and enrichment of the product through the use of unique cultural and environmental resources available. Thus there is potential to develop alternative forms of tourism, but so far efforts have been fragmented and lead to poor results. A prerequisite for the successful development of natural, cultural and financial resources of the island to be recognized as an alternative tourism destination is a local consensus – binding cooperation of all involved parties in the chain of the local tourist offer following a necessary prioritization of actions, but the only way of “survival” is to diversify the product and achieve quality excellence. So the concept of quality should be our main concern. The question is no longer increasing arrivals but growing per capita tourist spending by attracting quality tourism, by offering quality tourist services not only in the tourism business but overall throughout the island. It appears therefore as imperative need to upgrade, modernize and enrich the tourist product of the island with the development of special and alternative forms of tourism particularly focusing on niches that cater to people interested in: Alternative & Medical Tourism; Environmental Tourism; Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events; City tourism; Sea Tourism; Sports Tourism; Adventure Tourism and Extreme Sports; Diving; Gastronomy; Wellbeing and Spa holidays.

On our final Day, Professor Cathy Parker focused on ‘Back to Basics in Place Marketing’

Photographer – Ian Southerin

Cathy’s keynote speech focused on the way rubbish, in the forms of casual littering can alter people’s perceptions of places. Describing the results of research undertaken into attitudes to places based on how people saw or did not see litter, Cathy concluded that clearing litter from urban space is only likely to have positive outcomes and effects, and that basic issues such as the removal of litter can improve the psychological health of citizens. Much litter is branded – particularly the packaging from fast food and drinks – so brand owners and retailers should clear up litter around their business premises as it will affect perceptions of the immediate area and feelings of crime-related safety and wellbeing amongst their customers. All organisations wanting to attract consumers/tourists/residents into their physical proximity need to think about the space outside their business as a component of the ‘place’ part of the marketing mix. She reminded delegates that much of the place marketing literature is high level, abstract and aspirational, not always including either ‘place’ or ‘marketing’ in academic articles on place marketing. Marketing academics should use our marketing insight to help solve real place problems.

Nikolaos-Foivos Kaloudis

Is Secretary of the Board of the Tourism Scientific Society of Corfu. Founded in 2008, as a scientific society of graduates of tourism facilities / tertiary education tourism institutions, the goals of the society are researching and monitoring tourism on Corfu, as well as further developing the tourism sector on the island. His MSc in Tourism Marketing was undertaken at the University of Surrey, where he concluded his studies with a dissertation focusing on “DMOs (Destination Marketing Organizations) and Branding: A case study of Corfu Island (in Greece)”. Mr Kaloudis is also the Regional Executive Officer of the Greek Tourism Federation’s Regional Office of the Ionian Islands in Corfu.

Professor Cathy Parker

Cathy is Professor of Retail and Marketing Enterprise at Manchester Metropolitan University Business School, where she has managed over £10m of commercial and research projects, in the areas of retailing and place management. She is Principal Investigator of the new £1m government-funded Innovate project, ‘Improving the customer experience in retail: Bringing big data to small users’ and has just completed a major Economic and Social Research Council project investigating town centre change, ‘High Street UK 2020’, which worked with 10 UK High Streets in the UK, including Altrincham, Congleton and Alsager.

Cathy is Chair of the Institute of Place Management, with over 1200 members and friends internationally, and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Place Management, which is taken by over 2,000 institutions world-wide. She has published in many quality peer-reviewed academic journals, including European Journal of Marketing, Journal of Business Research and Journal of Environmental Psychology. Cathy is a regular contributor on place related issues to the media including BBC News, Radio 4 and 5, ITN News and local radio stations. Cathy has been an academic advisor and contributor to the All Party Parliamentary Small Shops Group, where she was the lead academic for the influential High Street 2015 Inquiry. Her research interests currently focus on using big data to forecast and manage place change, place marketing and the reduction of litter. She has recently been appointed Visiting Professor at the Institute for Regional Development, at the University of Tasmania.

* Dr Heather Skinner is the initiator and chair of the Corfu Symposium on Managing & Marketing Places. She is also the chair of the IPM Special Interest Group on Responsible Tourism.

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