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Rebranding Corfu

April 8, 2013
Dr. Heather Skinner on Corfu

This spring, dr Heather Skinner, Reader in Marketing at the University of Glamorgan, conducted a 5-week research on the subject of “Rebranding Corfu”. Her conclusions are very close to our Green Corfu philosophy! Heather, we love you!
Here’s her conclusion:

Greek islands continue to rely on the mass tourism model that served these destinations well in the boom period of the 1970s and 1980s, however, in many resorts little has changed in the offering to tourists since that time.

I believe that Corfu has reached a „tipping point‟ where the current decline could become fatal if immediate steps are not taken to halt the decline and turn things around, but that it is not too late to do something positive right now. And it is not all bad news, because Greece is still a popular destination for UK tourists, rising from 6th place in 2010 to 2nd place (after Spain) in 2011 as UK tourists‟ „most-preferred destination‟. However, Corfu cannot rely solely on the efforts of the Greek National Tourist Organisation, the island must take control of its own tourist fortunes to effect positive change.

With regard to tourists from the UK (although this may be replicated for other source markets), this change should focus on attracting more independent travellers, not package holiday makers (particularly those booking All-Inclusive packages). These tourists can help extend the season as they may be more willing to travel outside of the high season of July and August, but to serve them well when they are on the island it is imperative to offer a range of activities for them to participate in, and a wide range of attractions for them to visit while they are on the island. To do this, Corfu must be „open for business‟ from late March (when the first direct flights and cruise ships start coming to the island) to October when the last tourists leave. Resorts must be refreshed, look open, welcoming and inviting, and above all, resorts should look „Corfiot‟. Accommodation may need to be upgraded to serve the needs of 21st century tourists – what was good enough in the 1970s, 1980s, and even early 1990s is no longer „good enough‟ for travelers in 2013 and onwards. Local businesses need to understand the way co-operation and collaboration rather than fierce competition can actually help everyone. Learn from other cases – resorts on the island (such as Arillas) that are turning things around by taking control of their own destiny, and learn from cases of other islands that have improved their tourism fortunes by, for example, attracting more low cost airlines to offer direct flights, investing in accommodation and infrastructure, offering ways for All-Inclusive hotels to better contribute to the local economy, making it easier for tourists to book direct with local tourist service providers, and making it easier for tourists to spend money on local produce when in-resort.

It is important to keep up the profile of Corfu on the internet and social media. My university has already published a story about the public meeting that took place in Town on 13th March Once the web portal is up and running it will be important to ensure that it is fed regularly and updated with information and news stories. Co-operation and collaboration between businesses on the island will be vitally important to ensuring its success and the success of the other action points recommended in this document.

My e-mail address (as from 8th April 2013) is

Anyone who wants to follow me on Twitter can do so @HeatherUniGlam

Here is her complete initial report:
CORFU rebranding initial report PDF

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Joan Griffiths permalink
    April 9, 2013 1:09 pm

    Great report Heather, We go to visit family once or twice a year and although we like the ‘stepping back in time’ feel to Corfu also feel they could do more to cater for their visitors as people who go to other countries on holiday miss the amenities when in Corfu.


  1. The Future of Tourism in Corfu | Green Corfu Blog

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