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Handbook on the Economics of Cultural Heritage

Handbook on the Economics of Cultural Heritage

Elgar original reference

Edited by Ilde Rizzo and Anna Mignosa

Cultural heritage is a complex and elusive concept, constantly evolving through time, and combining cultural, aesthetic, symbolic, spiritual, historical and economic values. The Handbook on the Economics of Cultural Heritage outlines the contribution of economics to the design and analysis of cultural heritage policies and to addressing issues related to the conservation, management and enhancement of heritage.

Chapter 11: The marketing of heritage venues or destinations

François Colbert

Subjects: development studies, tourism, economics and finance, cultural economics, public sector economics, environment, tourism, geography, tourism


Cultural heritage venues are often marketed as tourist destinations by cities because of the high potential they have to strengthen a given local economy. According to a survey on 20 different locations in Europe, ‘more than 50% travellers claimed to have toured a museum during their trip, 40% had visited a monument, and 30% had seen an exhibit’ (as reported by Bonet, 2003: 188). In a country like France, the tourists’ money represents 100 millions of euros and 7 per cent of the GDP for 80 million visitors (Tobelem, 2010). France is, of course, the first tourist destination in the world. Indeed, the world is an immense reservoir of heritage venues like museums and historical buildings, monuments, archeological sites and others; for instance, counts of museums worldwide approximate 40 000 (Johnson, 2003). The consumers who travel may pick and choose among a myriad of different destinations. On this crowded ground, each city must position itself on what differentiates one from the others and package its offering consequently, as well as managers of heritage venues must find a niche in the market.

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