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Marketing a sense of place to tourists: A critical perspective

Lichrou, M and Panayiotopoulos, A Marketing a sense of place to tourists: A critical perspective. In: Sharpley, R, (ed.) Routledge Handbook of the Tourist Experience. Routledge. (Accepted)

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Sense of place is an elusive and ambiguous concept which broadly refers to how people relate to places through lived experiences. This chapter explores the growing interest in sense of place among place marketing and branding scholars. We first trace the trajectory of place marketing discourse from function/object towards representation/meaning and, more recently, participatory and experiential perspectives. We then discuss sense of place as a form of relation to and belonging to place. Embracing a critical marketing perspective, we argue that the production and consumption of places involves material, discursive and embodied processes. Thus, sense of place should not be seen in isolation from other elements of place such as a place’s materiality, social interactions, regulatory institutions, and the systems of representations involved in the production of place meanings. Problematising romanticised and static notions of place, which often rely exclusively on tourist imagery and needs, the chapter calls for an open, dynamic, and relational sense of place. The experiences and meanings of those living and working in places are critical in this direction. The chapter concludes by drawing attention to the dialectical relationship between the material and symbolic, as well as existential and political dimensions of place. We call for a critical participatory approach, in order to challenge notions of the past and open up possibilities for progressive change in the future.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5001 Business > HF5410 Marketing. Distribution of Products
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General) > G149 Travel. Voyages and travels (General) > G154.9 Travel and state. Tourism
Divisions: Business & Management (new Sep 19)
Publisher: Routledge
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2021 10:56
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2021 23:16
Editors: Sharpley, R
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/14846

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