Heather Skinner e-mail(Login required)

Main Article Content


Heather Skinner e-mail(Login required)


This paper explores online and social media users’ contributions to place identity creation, challenging the role and importance of various actors in the place brand identity and place brand image formation process.
Findings arise from a content analysis of 149 separate photographs of a unique event that takes place on the Greek island of Corfu as part of the Orthodox Easter festival. Findings are also informed by autoethnographic reflexivity from the researcher’s own participation in and observation of the event, and 84 images from the researcher’s own photographic record of the event.
Comparisons are drawn between social media users’ images and those communicated by the local Municipality through 7 relevant images reproduced in the official Easter on Corfu brochure.
The images uploaded by social media users were not vastly different in terms of content from those of the local authority, and were also similar to those taken by the researcher. Perhaps it may be time for place branders to not only voluntarily give up their perceptions of control over at least part of the identity formation process and encourage contributions from wider stakeholders, but to no longer perceive them as mere consumers of the brand, but also as its co-creators. However, this will require another shift in academic understanding of place brand identity and place brand image, which may be difficult to achieve considering that there has only recently been reached a certain level of agreement within the extant literature about the various definitions of terms associated with these constructs.


Anholt, S. (2010). Places: Identity, Image and reputation. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Anholt, S. (2005). What is a nation brand? Superbrands [Internet]. Retrieved from www.superbrands.com/turkeysb/trcopy/files/Anholt_3939.pdf. p. 186-187.

Baka, V. (2015). Understanding valuing devices in tourism through “place-making”. Valuation Studies 3(2), 149-180.

Berrozpe, A., Campo, S. & Yagüe, M. J. (2017). Understanding the identity of Ibiza, Spain. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing. DOI: 10.1080/10548408.2016.1272525.

Bing, P., McLaurin, T. & Crotts, J. C. (2007). Travel blogs and the implications for destination marketing. Journal of Travel Research, 46(1), 35-45.

Brodie, R. J., Ilic, A., Juric, B. & Hollebeek, L. (2013). Consumer engagement in a virtual brand community: An exploratory analysis. Journal of Business Research, 66(1), 105-114.

Chaitow, L. (2008). Corfu Easter – local traditions with a dark history. Retrieved from http://leonchaitow.com/2008/04/29/corfu-easter-local-traditions-with-a-darkhistory/.

Chiang, L., Xu, A., Kim, J., Tang, L. & Manthiou, A. (2016). Investigating festivals and events as social gatherings: the application of social identity theory. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing. DOI: 10.1080/10548408.2016.1233927.

Choi, S., Lehto, X. Y. & Morrison, A. M. (2007). Destination image representation on the web: content analysis of Macau travel related websites. Tourism Management, 28(1), 118-129.

Crompton, J. L. (1979). An assessment of the image of Mexico as a vacation destination and the influence of geographical location upon that image. Journal of Travel Research, 17(4), 18-23.

Echtner, C. M. & Ritchie, J. R. (1991). The meaning and measurement of destination image. Journal of Tourism Studies, 2(2), 2-12.

Fakeye, P. C., Crompton, J. L. (1991). Image differences between prospective, first time, and repeat visitors to the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Journal of Travel Research, 30(2), 10-16.

Falkheimer, J. (2016). Place branding in the Øresund region: From a transnational region to a bi-national city-region. Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, 12(2/3), 160-171.

Freire, J. (2016). Managing destination brand architecture: The case of Cascais Municipality. Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, 12(1), 78-90.

Fuggle, L. (2016). Tourism Trend Report 2016, Trekksoft Ebook Library. Retrieved from https://www.trekksoft.com/hubfs/EN_Trends_2016.pdf?t=1500076693944.

Garay, L., Pérez, S. M. (2017). Understanding the creation of destination images through a festival’s Twitter conversation. International Journal of Event and Festival Management, 8(1), 39-54.

Gartner, W. (1993). Image formation process. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 2(2/3), 191-216.

Getz, D. & Page, S. J. (2016). Progress for event tourism research. Tourism Management, 52, 593-631.

Glińska, E. & Gorbaniuk, O. (2016). Restrictions on the use of the Aaker model in the measurement of city brand personality: The sender’s perspective. Place Brand Public Diplomacy, 12(1), 46-58.

Govers, R. (2011). From place marketing to place branding and back. Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, 7(4), 227-231.

Govers, R., Go, R. M. & Kumar, K. (2007). Virtual destination image, a new measurement approach. Annals of Tourism Research, 34(4), 977-997.

Greaves, N. & Skinner, H. (2010). The importance of destination image analysis to UK rural tourism. Marketing Intelligence and Planning, 28(4), 486-507.

Greek Travel Pages (2018). Greek Tourism Begins Digital Transition Journey’ [Internet]. Retrieved from https://news.gtp.gr/2018/05/11/greek-tourism-digital-transitionjourney/?utm_source=GTP+headlines+list&utm_campaign=48844629f2-gtp_headlines&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_742e571d31-48844629f2-64839457.

Gunn, C. A. (1972). Vacationscape: Designing tourist regions. Austin: University of Texas.

Gyimothy, S. & Larson, M. (2015). Social Media Co-Creation Strategies: the 3Cs. Event Management, 19(3), 331-348.

Hajli, N., Shanmugam, M., Papagiannidis, S., Zahay, D. & Richard, M-O. (2016). Branding cocreation with members of online brand communities. Journal of Business Research. DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2016.08.026.

Haldrup, M. & Larsen, J. (2012). Readings of tourist photographs. In T. Rakić & D. Chambers (Eds.), An Introduction to Visual Research Methods in Tourism. Abingdon: Routledge.

Hoksbergen, E. & Insch, A. (2016). Facebook as a platform for co-creating music festival experiences: The case of New Zealand’s Rhythm and Vines New Year’s Eve festival. International Journal of Event and Festival Management, 7(2), 84-99.

Hudson, S. & Hudson, R. (2013). Engaging with consumers using social media: a case study of music festivals. International Journal of Event and Festival Management, 4(3), 206-223.

Huertas, A. & Marine-Roig, E. (2016). User reactions to destination brand contents in social media. Information Technology and Tourism, 15(4), 291-315.

Jaimangal-Jones, D. (2014). Utilising ethnography and participant observation in festival and event Research. International Journal of Event and Festival Management, 5(1), 39-55.

Jokela, S. & Raento, P. (2012). Collecting visual materials from secondary sources. In T. Rakić & D. Chambers (Eds.), An Introduction to Visual Research Methods in Tourism. Abingdon: Routledge.

Kavaratzis, M. & Kalandides, A. (2015). Rethinking the place brand: the interactive formation of place brands and the role of participatory place branding. Environment and Planning A, 47, 1368-1382.

Kislali, H., Kavaratzis, M. & Saren, M. (2016). Rethinking destination image formation. International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, 10(1), 70-80.

Lew, A. A. (2017). Tourism planning and place making: place-making or placemaking? Tourism Geographies. DOI: 10.1080/14616688.2017.1282007.

Li, S. C. H., Robinson, P. & Oriade, A. (2017). Destination Marketing: The use of technology since the millennium. Journal of Destination Marketing & Management, 6(2), 95-102.

Liang, S., Schuckert, M., Law, R. & Masiero, L. (2016). The relevance of mobile tourism and information technology: an analysis of recent trends and future research directions. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing. DOI: 10.1080/10548408.2016.1218403.

Liapis, A. (2017). Re-branding Greece. Proceedings of the 4th Corfu Symposium on Managing & Marketing Places. Retrieved from http://corfusymposium.com/wpcontent/uploads/2017-Proceedings.pdf.

Line, N. D. & Wang, Y. (2017). A multi-stakeholder market oriented approach to destination marketing. Journal of Destination Marketing & Management, 6(1), 84-93.

Mariani, M. M., Di Felice, M. & Mura, M. (2016). Facebook as a destination marketing tool: Evidence from Italian regional Destination Management Organizations. Tourism Management, 54, 321-343.

Medway, D. (2015). Rethinking place branding and the “other” senses. In M. Kavaratzis, G. Warnaby & G. Ashworth (Eds.), Rethinking place branding. Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.

Merkelsen. H. & Rasmussen, R. K. (2016). Nation branding as an emerging field - An institutionalist perspective. Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, 12(2/3), 99-109.

Moschoudi, E. (2014). Easter Celebrations in Corfu, Greece: A unique experience! Retrieved from https://effrosinimoss.wordpress.com/2014/04/14/easter-celebrations-in-corfugreece-a-unique-experience/.

Munar, A. M. (2011). Tourist-created content: rethinking destination branding. International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, 5(3), 291-305.

Murray, N., Lynch, P. & Foley, A. (2016). Unlocking the magic in successful tourism destination marketing: The role of sensing capability. Journal of Marketing Management, 32(9/10), 877-899.

Nikolouzos, K. (n.d.). Easter on Corfu. Municipality of Corfu Office for Communication and Public Relations, Corfu: Municipality of Corfu.

Olins, W. (2002). Branding the nation: The historical context. Journal of Brand Management, 9(4/5), 241–248.

Parker, C. (Ed.) (2008). Extended editorial: Place - the trinal frontier. Journal of Place Management and Development, 1(1), 5-14.

Pike, S. & Page, S. J. (2014). Destination Marketing Organizations and destination marketing: A narrative analysis of the literature. Tourism Management, 41, 202-227.

Rakić, T. & Chambers, D. (Eds.) (2012). An Introduction to Visual Research Methods in Tourism. Abingdon: Routledge.

Scaramanga, M. (2012). Talking about art(s). Journal of Place Management and Development, 5(1), 70-80.

Scarles, C. (2012). Eliciting embodied knowledge and response: respondent-led photography and visual authethnography. In T. Rakić & D. Chambers (Eds.), An Introduction to Visual Research Methods in Tourism. Abingdon: Routledge.

Schwartz, D. (1989). Visual ethnography: Using photography in qualitative research. Qualitative Sociology, 12(2), 119-154.

Sevin, E. (2013). Places going viral: Twitter usage patterns in destination marketing and place branding. Journal of Place Management and Development, 6(3), 227-239.

Skinner, H. (2008). The emergence and development of place marketing’s confused identity. Journal of Marketing Management, 24(9/10), 915-928.

Skinner, H. (2011). In search of the genius loci – the essence of a place brand. The Marketing Review, 11(3), 281-292.

Skinner, H. (2017a). Ήλιος, θάλασσα, άµµος και σεξ: προβλήµατα µε το ελληνικό µοντέλο µαζικού τουρισµού (Sun, Sea, Sand and Sex: Problems with the mass tourism model) Γεωγραφίες (Geographies), ΤΕΥΧΟΣ 30, ΧΕΙΜΩΝΑΣ 2017 (No. 30, Winter 2017), ΑΦΙΕΡΩΜΑ: ΤΑΥΤΟΤΗΤΑ, ΜΑΡΚΕΤΙΓΚ ΚΑΙ BRANDING ΤΟΠΩΝ (special issue on Identity, Marketing & Branding of places).

Skinner, H. (2017b). Representations of Rural England in Contemporary Folk Song. Arts and the Market, 7(2), 137-158.

Skinner, H. (2017c). Business Tourists’ Perceptions of Nation and Capital City Brands: A comparison between Dublin / Republic of Ireland, and Cardiff / Wales. Journal of Marketing Management. DOI: 10.1080/0267257X.2017.1313757.

Stepchenkova, S. & Mills, J. E. (2010). Destination Image: A Meta-Analysis of 2000-2007 Research. Journal of Hospitality Marketing & Management, 19(6), 575-609.

Terzidou, M., Stylidis, D. & Terzidis, K. (2017). The role of visual media in religious tourists’ destination image, choice, and on-site experience: the case of Tinos, Greece. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing. DOI: 10.1080/10548408.2017.1304316.

Tribe, J. & Mkono, M. (2017). Not such smart tourism? The concept of e-lienation. Annals of Tourism Research, 66, 105-115.

Valaskivi, K. (2016). Circulating a fashion: Performance of nation branding in Finland and Sweden. Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, 12(2/3), 139-151.

Van Winkle, C. M., Cairns, A., MacKay, K. J. & Halpenny, E. A. (2016). Mobile device use at festivals: opportunities for value creation. International Journal of Event and Festival Management, 7(3), 201-218.

Williams-Burnett, N., Skinner, H. & Fallon, J. (2016). Reality Television Portrayals of Tourists Behaving Badly. Journal of Travel and Tourism Marketing. DOI: 10.1080/10548408.2016.1261757.

Zenker, S., Braun, E. & Petersen, S. (2017). Branding the destination versus the place: The effects of brand complexity and identification for residents and visitors. Tourism Management, 58, 15-27.

Zenker, S. & Govers, R. (2016). The current academic debate calls for critical discussion. Place Brand Public Diplomacy, 12(1), 1-4.

Xiang, Z. & Gretzel, U. (2010). Role of social media in online travel information search. Tourism Management, 31(2), 179-180


Search GoogleScholar


Article Details