Corfu Symposium on Managing and Marketing Places


The Corfu Symposium is an annual event dedicated to developing the theory and practice of place management and marketing, within a context of responsible tourism on the island of Corfu.  Unique amongst academic conferences, the Symposium offers scholars the opportunity to engage directly with place making, management and marketing issues - as the Symposium includes local businesses, policy makers and other stakeholders eager to implement cutting-edge researchthat can make a positive difference to Corfu.

5th Corfu Symposium on Managing & Marketing Places
16th – 19th April 2018

Changing places: Visions of utopia or dystopia?

SMART growth, inclusive growth, degrowth, devolution, revitalisation, placemaking, place branding and destination marketing: A list of common place practices or ambitions. But what future do these bring to the towns, cities, regions or nations in which they are adopted? The theme of the 5th Corfu Symposium on Managing & Marketing Places is to explore the utopian or dystopian visions associated with the place practices we study, promote or enact. Whilst we do not expect all authors to provide this reflection themselves, time will be devoted, within the symposium, to collectively discuss and debate the potential impact on places tomorrow from the work we do today.

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corfu 1

Corfu has a long history, stretching back to the time Odysseus had his final stop here, on the island of the Phaeacians, before heading back to Ithaca. The island of Corfu and especially the capital of the island with the same name, bears the marks of its past conquerors.

corfu 2

400 years of Venetian and 50 years of British rule have had the most influence on the architecture, culture, habits and customs of Corfu, but the French managed to build Corfu’s trademark arcades of the Liston. Particularly the connection with the UK remains strong, as about 10,000 of the island’s 120,000 inhabitants are British. Corfiots drink ginger beer and play cricket!

Corfu 4

The island has always been green and fertile, thanks to the many winter rains and the humid microclimate created by millions of olive trees. The beautiful landscape along with its more than 60 beaches made it one of the first islands of Greece to be developed as a tourist destination.

Corfu 5 

Most of the island’s coastline is touristically developed, on the eastern coast are the busiest resorts with big hotels, while the western coast has more small resorts with family-run businesses. About a million tourists visit Corfu every year, most of them to enjoy the sea and sun, but alternative forms of tourism such as walking, cycling, horse riding, wellness holidays and other special interest holidays are growing fast. You can read more on alternative tourism on Corfu on our Green Corfu website.


The theme of the 1st Symposium held in 2014, “Responses to the decline in Mass Tourism - Engaging Stakeholders and Effecting Positive Change”, reflected the global decline in mass tourism as travellers, who are increasingly choosing to travel independently, or with smaller tour operators, seek more ‘authenticity’ in their vacation experiences, with Responsible Tourism issues focusing on initiatives that move away from the current mass tourism model, in particular, challenging the continued growth of All-Inclusive tourism.

Focusing on the theme of “Connecting People and Places”, the 2015 2nd Symposium recognised that each destination ‘needs to focus on … differentiation … define its own niche markets and serve them accordingly … to establish their position in the global tourism market’ (Sotiriadis and Varvaressos, 2015) and most importantly, achieve this in a way that means this position becomes sustainable and does not cause any further societal or environmental degradation. 

The 3rd Symposium “Thinking and Re-thinking v Places”, held in April 2016, reflected current developments in both the theory and practice of place management and marketing with places and spaces being contested, formed and re-formed.

The 4th Corfu Symposium on Managing & Marketing Places held 24th-27th April 2017.   focused on ‘Place Making from Various Gazes’

Read the full report on this event in the Journal of Place Management and Development: Skinner, H. (2017) "4th Corfu Symposium on Managing and Marketing Places, 24-27 April 2017", Journal of Place Management and Development, 10(3), pp.299-301, 


Corfu Symposium on Managing & Marketing Places – academic committee

Symposium Chair:
Dr Heather Skinner

Academic Committee: 

Professor Cathy Parker

Professor T C Melewar

Dr David Cooper

Dr Maria Lichrou

Dr Evgenia Kanellopoulou


For more information please visit the Symposium website