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Managing town centres and destinations - insights from an international survey of professionals in the field

Managing town centres and destinations - insights from an international survey of professionals in the field

Coca-Stefaniak, Andres ORCID: 0000-0001-5711-519X, Branka, Sebastian and Plichta, J (2015) Managing town centres and destinations - insights from an international survey of professionals in the field. In: 3rd Institute of Place Management Conference, Poznan (Poland), May 2015. Institute of Place Management, Poznan, Poland.

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The management of town centres and marketing of destinations is a constantly evolving field of practice-based knowledge subject to influences at local, regional, national and global levels. In line with this, previous studies (e.g. Molinillo-Jimenez, 2001; Seisdedos, 2007) have shown that there is a multitude of approaches to the management of places across Europe, which has been conceptualised through a number of typologies of place management partnerships (Hogg et al, 2001; Coca-Stefaniak et al, 2009), including the source of their funding as well as their positioning towards visitor target markets, which range from local to global. Although there are quite apparent historical parallels between the place branding and place management literature, which have been highlighted by a number of authors (Kavaratzis and Ashworth, 2008; Insch and Florek, 2010; Florek and Proszowska-Sala, 2010; Gertner, 2011; Muñiz Martinez, 2012; Brańka and Plichta, 2014; Coca-Stefaniak, 2014), there appears to be a gap in our understanding with regards to the comparative (transnational) priorities, competences, skills and approach of professionals in town centre management and destination marketing across the EU and other parts of the world. This has important implications for place management today, particularly given the difficult fiscal regime faced by Destination Management Organisations (DMOs) in the UK and the emergence of Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) or BID-like organisations with a specific focus on tourism in the UK and elsewhere (Vermeulen, 2002; Murauer, 2004; Wiezorek, 2011). This study builds on previous work in this field by the Institute of Place Management (Coca-Stefaniak and Parker, 2010) and others to provide a comparison across 6 countries (Sweden, UK, Poland, Czech Republic, Turkey and Greece) and take the debate further by exploring also the latest thinking among professionals in destination marketing and town centre management with regards to issues such as place branding, strategy formulation and business planning, the use of cultural assets and other key elements of place management. The implications of the findings of this recent EU-funded study are especially relevant today given the crossroads that this sector appears to find itself at with difficult choices for professionals in this field subject to growing global competition for visitor markets, whilst still subject to a remarkably complex fiscal situation brought about by recent public sector cutbacks as a result of the global financial downturn of 2008. This study concludes with recommendations for further academic research as well as implications for practitioners in this field, which include the need for town centres and destinations to adopt a more sophisticated strategic positioning linked to their identity if they are to survive and thrive in the fragile macro-economic recovery conditions much of the western economies appear to be immersed in at present and for the foreseeable future.

Item Type: Conference Proceedings
Title of Proceedings: 3rd Institute of Place Management Conference, Poznan (Poland), May 2015
Additional Information: 3rd IPM Place Management and Branding Conference, Poznan University of Economics, 6-8 May 2015
Uncontrolled Keywords: Town centre management, Destinations, Professionalisation
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Business > Department of Marketing, Events & Tourism
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Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:32

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