Posted by Tobias Nielsén / / Research
There are three common mistakes regarding cultural tourism.
The first mistake is to underestimate it. People working in the cultural sector seldom get the recognition they deserve relative to how much they contribute to the economic effects of tourism, as well as the attractiveness and symbolic values for a city or town.
The second mistake relates to the first mistake, but the other way around. From the cultural perspective, the overall experience of the visitor is often overlooked. For instance visitors are looking for more from the experience than “just” the art. There are very few cultural institutions that in themselves are the sole reason why larger number of tourists make a journey. For example, the world famous art museum Louisiana outside Copenhagen would not be as popular if it wasn’t for the scenic milieu in which it is located.
At Volante Research, we have recently measured this in a study for Skåne Northwest. Somewhat unexpectedly, people valued “nature” very highly as a complement to the cultural experience.
In the study, we have developed a method to rank the ability of cultural institutions and events to attract visitors, inspired by the Guide Michelin. “Two stars” are for example given to cultural institutions that are worth a longer detour.
Is it possible to measure everything in numbers? No, but trying to do so clarifies what is evaluated and brings a greater degree of precision to the analysis.
And the third mistake regarding cultural tourism?
Look at the picture below. Höganäs, centre for the old Swedish ceramics industry, consists of an odd mix of industrial and cultural heritage. But the cultural capital risks being hollowed out if the overarching impression is of an outlet village – and a trade park can be located almost anywhere. The unique must be nurtured to keep its uniqueness.