IPM Senior Fellow Dr Heather Skinner was invited to present the results research undertaken at the Open Business Forum that took place at the Institute of Place Management’s 5th Corfu Symposium on Managing & Marketing Places at the 2nd Corfu Business Forum held 19th-21st October at the Ionian Academy in Corfu Town.

Dr Skinner’s presentation opened the afternoon session on Saturday 20th that was devoted to “The Carrying Capacity of Tourism as a Tool for Sustainable Economic Development”. Her presentation focused on “Prioritising the Issues Affecting Tourism Development and Place Management in Corfu 2018”. This presentation informed the forum of the background and methodology behind the work undertaken in April this year. Based on a successful and proven methodology adopted by the IPM for a project examining the performance of UK High Streets, a similar methodology was employed with business people and policy makers attending the Corfu Symposium’s Open Business Forum. The results of this research led to the identification of 10 priority factors that would have the most impact and over which the local community has the most control in order to improve tourism development on the island in the short term.

Dr Skinner’s presentation to the Tourism Forum outlined the recommendations arising from this report, key of which would be for the island to establish a Destination Management Organisation (DMO). It was therefore very heartening to hear on the 2nd day of the Tourism Forum that a Memorandum of Cooperation has now been signed by the Ionian University, Corfu Municipality, the local travel agents' association (AOCTA) and the Hellenic Association of Travel Agents (fedHATTA) with the aim of finally establishing a DMO for Corfu. As these developments show things are definitely moving in the right direction to help improve tourism on the island, a copy of the IPM report (available to download here in English and in Greek) was also presented to Mr Vassilis Kavadias, Corfu Municipality’s Vice Mayor for Tourism and Education, identifying where IPM expertise can help with these and other developments based on the recommendations arising in the IPM report.