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Check our latest post regarding the 2nd Corfu Symposium on Managing and Marketing Places. It was a fantastic experience, four days watching presentations, going on excursions around the island and talking with academics about the past, present and future of tourism on Corfu.
We will be happy to see you there!
It’s the end of October and the end of the season is getting near. Arillas is still recovering from a spectacular five day festival last week. The organization was much better than last year, we had many more visitors and all of them went home happy. Great food, fantastic beers, (The Little Beer was my favourite!), beautiful and tasty local products and lots of music and dancing. Both the Greek and the UK dancers were fantastic on their own but the best moments of the festival were the ones when the dancers would mix and dance each other’s dances. A real melting of cultures! Watch some of the videos further down.
Sunday night turned into a real party thanks to Folk ‘n Roll who got people dancing and the Feakes traditional local band who kept us dancing till the early morning hours. And another highlight was the Monday night, after the festival when the volunteers, well over 100 people, got together to eat, drink and evaluate. Evrybody was tired but proud of ourselves. It was a little like the last page of Asterix…!
So, see you at next year’s beer festival! We’ll keep you posted on the theme, dates and other details.
Hammersmith Morris Men opening Corfu Beer Festival
Celtic Storm performing!
Arillas children’s dancing group
Arillas Dance Club dancing Furlana
Pontian Dancers dancing Letsina
Morris men, Celtic storm joining the Pagi Dance Club
Morris men dancing Hassaposerviko with the Krini dance club
The Morris men dancing English dance with the Arillas women
The Mojo bunch Blues band
Folk’n Roll giving us a very funky version of Zonaradikos
A very exciting season is nearing its end, and the last milepost is the 2nd Corfu Beer Festival starting this Wednesday 8 October. Corfu will meet the UK, the meeting will last 5 days and during these days we’ll taste English, Scottish, Irish and Welsh beers brewed especially for the festival in Arillas by 5 microbreweries.
And we’ll also have lots of entertainment, from Morris dancers and Irish stepdancers to blues, folk and rock, from traditional Greek dancing to rebetika and greek celtic and reggae music. There will be lots of Greek grills, but also fish and chips, and even some chefs giving cookery lessons! To get a feel of the atmosphere, check out some pics and videos from last year’s festival, where Corfu met Bavaria!
The weather has been beautiful this last week, with warm seas and great sunshine. Perfect beach weather! So, if you fancy combining a last-minute holiday to the sun with some beer tasting and inter-cultural partying, come to Arillas next week! There are studios available starting at 20€ per night.
So, hope to see you next week! Yamas!!!
On Saturday 2 August there will be the reenactment of a traditional Corfiot wedding. It will start around 20.00 at the beach where the dowry will be carried to the festival grounds. There the whole procedure of bargaining for the dowry, signing the contract with the notary, making the bed and dressing the bride will be reenacted, accompanied by lots of singing. After that there’s dancing, beer and souvlakia for all!
On Sunday 3 August is the second night of the festival, and we will have as guests a traditional dancing group from Cyprus, who will present their own traditional dances.
More on last year’s Andamoma on the Green Corfu blog.
Don’t miss this fantastic festival! And we are looking forward to receiving your pictures from the Andamoma!!!
A couple of weeks ago, from 14 till 17 April 2014, we of Green Corfu together with Dr Heather Skinner organised the 1st Corfu Symposium on Managing and Marketing Places. It was held at Hotel Fiori near Corfu town and the delegates were both academics and practicioners of the tourism sector. This was the second time we organised an event on tourism (see www.alternativekerkyra.gr for the first one) but it was the first time academics and researchers in the field of place management and marketing were invited. It was quite an experience, there were many good discussions, many connections were made and of course we all had a good time. After all, Symposium is a Greek word composed of Syn, meaning together and Posi, meaning drinking! And we did drink top quality, local Corfiot beers and wines…
So, after this exciting and eventful four days, I will try to share with you the most important things that stuck with me:
- All decisions a person takes are processed by the part of the brain handling emotions, called the ‘amygdala’. So all our decisions are emotional!
- People don’t travel somewhere because it is a certain way. They go because they perceive it to be a certain way. Perception is key.
- Place is a better word to refer to a town/area/island than destination because it includes many more meanings. People live, work and function in a place. Destination just refers to a place where people go, usually to spend money.
- A place’s image consists of the ‘induced‘ image, which is what the place itself tries to project through all kinds of advertising, and the ‘organic‘ image, which is what is projected buy other sources such as visitor reviews, films, documentaries etc. You can control the induced image, but not so easily the organic image.
- We can enhance the perception, or image people have of Corfu if we use correctly the different “narratives” we have of the place. These narratives include books, paintings, films, photographs, and stories we can get out of people.
- There are two general trends in tourism, opposite to each other. On one hand there is the expansion for all-inclusive holidays and on the other the demand for more personalised, experience-based holidays. Corfu can benefit from catering for the needs of the second group of guests, utilising its landscape and biodiversity, local products, friendliness of the people and alternative forms of tourism.
- Food and drink are very important in a visitor’s experience. Taste and smell are the senses with the strongest connection to memories and emotions. So, promoting local products to tourists has a lasting effect and influences their decisions (see point 1!).
- Reality TV is always bad for the image of a place. In the case of Corfu, the brand of Kavos is threatening to cannibalise the brand of Corfu (“Ooh, if those things are happening in Kavos, there’s no way I am going to Corfu!”).
- A lot of research has been done on projects to revive neglected city centres. This relates a lot to what we are trying to do in Arillas. The results show that the only successful initiatives were grassroots or bottom-up. The government (local, regional or national) is more often a problem than a help.
- Getting academics and practicioners together in a Symposium can result in great conversations, lots of fun and very concrete connections and results.
I am sure that the 2nd Corfu Symposium on Managing and Marketing Places will be very interesting and, more importantly for me, there will be specific research results on Corfu. This scientific research can serve as the basis to designing and implementing a tourism strategy that will benefit all stakeholders and not just the big tour operators.
You can read more on next year’s Symposium on www.corfusymposium.com. We would love to have your feedback and hope to see many of you participate next year!
Last Sunday 16 March 2014 was the second date we got together to clean up and take care of Arillas beach, after the Sunday before, 9 March. This time, just like last there were more than 60 people working, talking, eating, drinking, cleaning up, swimming, and generally having a great time! There was coffee and cookies, beer and pitakia, lots of smiles and a good spirit. The sun was shining and the kids were enjoying the spring weather.
In the meantime, we managed to fix the whole surface of the jetty with cement, support the jetty that was damaged after the winter storms, plant 10 three-meter tall “frigkes” (conifers like the ones growing on the left hand side of the beach), clean up lots of rubbish, and generally give the place a facelift it needed! And there’s more to come, we still have lots of time till the summer.
But the best part is not that we did all those things with a minimal amount of money, it’s the fact that we had a jolly good time doing them! And it shows in the pics!
Arillas is famous for its festivals. Especially the last 3-4 years, our festivals have been visited by ever more people, the team of locals helping out with the organization is growing and the festivals themselves are continually being upgraded. You can read our older posts on the 2013 Antamoma, Wine Festival and Beer Festival. Here is the program for this year’s festivals:
- Analipsi (Ascension) Festival is on Thursday 29 May 2014. This festival is held up by the village church that is dedicated to the Ascension of Christ.
- Antamoma (Get together) Festival is on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 August 2014. It is held at the central festival grounds, about 100m from the main Arillas crossing, under the olive trees. It is a chance for Arilliots living around the world to come together and usually dancing groups from other parts of Greece or abroad are invited to dance.
- The Wine Festival is on Saturday 6 September 2014, at the central festival grounds and includes traditional wine making using old tools, barrels and a donkey. Visitors can participate. Local wine from last year is served for free all night, as long as you buy a hand-painted carafe!
- The Corfu Beer Festival is held up by the Corfu Beer grounds for five days, between 8 and 12 October 2014. This year’s theme is Corfu Meets the UK, so there will be beers, music and dancers from England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, as well as local Corfu Beer, food and entertainment.
We will keep this blogpost updated if more events come up, you never know with these Arilliots…!