On the second day of our program, we had our first introductory lectures followed by a very interesting fieldwork session in the city of Thessaloniki.
Wednesday 27 August 2014.
09.30-11.30: Introduction to Tourism Development (Dionysis Latinopoulos)
Professor Latinopoulos gave us a very informative lecture on the basics of the discipline of tourism development, including explanations about the tourism industry, the motivations of tourists and what influences their destination choices, the negative impacts of tourism on the socio-cultural environment and how these are linked to the concerns of sustainable development planning. The lecture included a short exercise in which students were asked to work in groups and make a very short powerpoint presentation about one issue arising from tourism activities in their area and how students propose to solve it. This exercise will be used again on Friday as a starting point for our workshop.
11.30-13.00: The Image of the City (Georgia Pozoukidou)
Professor Pozoukidou lectured about a methodology that students were asked to apply in their afternoon fieldwork in order to find out how people perceive and remember a city. This was again a very engaging lecture with specific examples taken from around the world’s largest urban areas. Students found out that by using five basic components (paths, edges, districts, nodes, landmarks) of a city’s landscape, they could map out the way locals and tourists perceive that city.
14.30-18.00: Fieldwork in Thessaloniki
Participant students were split up in 6 groups of mixed composition and were asked to survey specific areas of the city of Thessaloniki. The purpose of the exercise, as Prof. Pozoukidou noted, was to ‘compose an image of the city of Thessaloniki through the “eyes” of the students, both Japanese and Greek, using distinct cultural elements.’ More specifically, students were asked to transfer their experience of walking through the city onto a colored map, using symbolic urban structures that represent the five basic components discussed in the morning lecture, and create their own image of Thessaloniki.
Photos from the students’ fieldwork:
Comment from a Chiba University student:
It was an intensive collaborative exercise in which we all diligently tried to go beyond language barriers in order to communicate our thoughts and experiences.