Purpose of the study: Within a microeconomic setting, the objective of this paper is to provide evidence on the attitude of museum visitors, regarding culture and their overall vacation motivation. As a case study, the visitors’ experience to the South Tyrol's Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano (Italy) is analyzed. Design/methodology/approach: Based on the consumer behavior theory developed by Lancaster (1966) and Rosen (1974), a destination incorporates a bundle of characteristics that determine consumers’ utility. A fundamental role is played by length of stay determined by tourists’ budget, time constraints and preferences. Empirically, a zero-truncated negative binomial model is estimated to understand in which manner each variable affects the length of stay, taking into account tourists’ heterogeneity. Findings: Employing empirical data obtained via a survey of 724 visitors at the museum from June to August 2010, evidence is provided that the cultural length of stay in a mountain destination with two peak seasons (summer and winter) is higher than the length of stay in more traditional tourism destinations. The econometric analysis indicates, that respondents who visited the Iceman museum, are mainly interested in a cultural experience and can be regarded as specific tourists. Originality/value: The contribution of the present study is in applying an under-researched empirical approach into the investigation of length of stay of cultural tourists in a mountain destination. Given the specific characteristics of the dependent variable (i.e. length of stay), that is a count variable that assumes at least the value of one, a zero-truncated Negative Binomial has been estimated. Research limitations/implications: Future research will involve a survey at accommodation establishments (e.g. hotels, etc.), to gather information to be able to better distinguish between cultural and non-cultural visitors, allowing for direct comparison. Practical implications: The findings provide an essential tool to manage heritage resources and plan to tourism development around the museum. Although one of the main attractions in Bolzano, the Iceman deserves even more attention from local institutions.
Factors influencing length of stay of cultural tourists / Meleddu, Marta; Brida, Jg; Pulina, Manuela. - (2011). ((Intervento presentato al convegno Competence Centre in Tourism Management and Tourism Economics (TOMTE tenutosi a Brunico/Bolzano.