Purpose – The urgency to cope with the international economic crisis has led to efforts to identify innovative tools and frameworks that are capable of regenerating local and national economic development. The enhancement of the cultural heritage sector can be a strategic factor in improving the competitiveness of country systems. In Italy, the nation’s rich cultural heritage is not managed in an efficient and effective manner, even though it embodies a tremendous opportunity to enhance local economic growth, especially in light of the role of new Cultural Technology Districts (CTDs). In this context, the purpose of this paper is to present the results of a survey conducted to investigate the behaviour of tourists who consume Italian cultural resources. Design/methodology/approach – This paper is an empirical investigation that attempts to identify the needs and expectations of cultural consumers through descriptive statistics, as well as factor and cluster analysis. This study is the beginning of an effort to develop innovative products and services that will facilitate the revitalisation of the growth of the cultural heritage sector of Italy’s economy. Findings – This paper identifies new profiles of the cultural consumer that will be useful for planning customised development strategies. New social trends and technological tools have influenced the behaviour and expectations of cultural visitors and present an opportunity to redefine the cultural tourist experience. Originality/value – The lack of systematic surveys in Italy to gather data on the behaviour and expectations of cultural consumers has resulted in a gap of information between demand and supply. This paper proposes some significant strategies to learn about the business strategies of cultural heritage organisations.
Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 18, 2015