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.

Cruise Tourism: Current situation and development prospects of the sector on the island of Kefalonia – Evangelia. D. Parisi – University of the Aegean, Greece

Photographer: Ian Southerin
Photographer: Ian Southerin

This paper presented the results of a survey undertaken with 304 respondents to show the current situation of cruise tourism on the island of Kefalonia and reflects the views and satisfaction rate of the visitors to the island. Kefalonia is a developing tourist destination. Its port town Argostoli has welcomed a significant number of cruise ships during the last five years, but when these people arrive, not all of the island’s attractions are open for business, nor is it always easy for cruise passengers to find transportation to places they want to visit. This research concluded that the island needs to improve the programming of cruise arrivals and coordination with overland means of transport and the opening hours of shops, museums, and other places of interest to provide better levels of satisfaction to its visitors.

World Tourism Day 2015: Corfu Discussions – Heather Skinner –Institute of Place Management


27th September 2015 saw the 36th World Tourism Day focusing on the theme of ‘1billion tourists – 1billion opportunities’. This paper presented the findings from the World Tourism Day Corfu Discussions into the positive contributions tourism can make to the island. However, not all discussion focused on these positives, some regularly occurring themes arose, and negative aspects of tourism were also highlighted. This research concluded that what positive contributions tourism can make to Corfu will centre around what the island wants to be known for. Targeting the UK market needs to be done carefully to ensure its future sustainability, and to attract more independent middle market tourists. More of a distinction needs to be made between these different visitor types in order to best serve them all in a way that is sustainable and that brings in repeat business. Any new initiatives will only be effective if the tourism provider community comes together and works together in a spirit of communication and co-operation, making plans during the winter to enact during the summer months. Historically, in Corfu, this has not been easy to achieve.

(Re)thinking Tourism Discourse and Place: Beautific and Horrific Fantasies of Tourism Development in Faliraki, Rhodes – Aggelos Panayiotopoulos, Maurice Patterson – University of Limerick, Ireland – Peter Burns – University of Bedfordshire, UK


This work highlighted that negative social and environmental impacts of inadequately planned tourism development counterbalance the positive economic benefits. The authors turn to Political Discourse Theory to examine these critical dimensions of tourism development and the way it shapes place, focusing on the case of Faliraki in Rhodes, which has a long and troubled tourism history. Similar to some resorts on other Greek islands, Faliraki has changed its focus over time to targeting Scandinavian upmarket tourists in the 1960s, creating a low-cost British party zone in the 1970s-90s, attracting Greek families in the 1990s, until in the 2000s, once again, Faliraki is aiming for the upmarket tourist, this time with the Russian All-Inclusive market. But, cyclically, what is at one time seen as beautific in the resort, tends to turn to the horrific, the challenge now is how to manage this as different zones develop in the resort. This paper presented by Aggelos, won the prize for Best Paper submitted by a doctoral student.

*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.

Photographer: Ian Southerin

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