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Does designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site influence tourist evaluation of a local destination?

Mariani, M. M. and Guizzardi, A. (2019) Does designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site influence tourist evaluation of a local destination? Journal of Travel Research. ISSN 0047-2875

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1177/0047287518821737

Abstract/Summary

The purpose of this study is to explore whether the UNESCO World Heritage Site (WHS) designation affects tourists’ evaluation of the local destination hosting the site, building on a large sample of about 0.8 million tourists who visited Italy over the period 1997-2015. We find that the inscription onto the UNESCO World Heritage List exerts surprisingly a negative effect on the overall evaluation of the destination and also on the evaluation of its artistic assets though the magnitude of the latter is lower. The effect is heterogeneous across visitors, depending on evaluation levels, as well as origin/destinations and demographics. Nonetheless, the presence of multiple WHSs in the same destination tends to increase evaluation suggesting that destination stakeholders with previous experience in dealing with WHS designations are better equipped to manage the complicated relationship between tourism and preservation. Managerial and policy-making implications are discussed.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Henley Business School > Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour
ID Code:81128
Publisher:SAGE

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