A recent study by Brida, Juan Gabriel, Disegna, Marta and Scuderi, Raffaele, titled “Visitors of Two Types of Museums: Do Expenditure Patterns Differ?” (May 15, 2012). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2060840 looks at two different types of visitors differentiated by attendance of two types of museums: the museum of modern art and the archaeological museum.
Based on a survey of attendees to MART (Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Trento and Rovereto) and South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology (STMA), the study finds that there are, overall, two distinct profiles of visitors for each museum.
Overall, the analysis considered three different categories of expenditure:
- Total spending excluding transportation reflects the ‘economic trace’ that the tourist leaves on the visited community.
- Accommodation expenditure characterizes tourists and their decision of overnight stay.
- All visitors instead may spend on food and beverage.
- The average visitor [to MART] has a higher education level than in STMA and comes with families of smaller size and less frequently in presence of children.
- For [MART] tourists interested in its cultural value exert a significant and positive effect on total spending, [e.g.] positive coefficient of the number of museums visited, of visitors with higher education, and of those that declared to visit the museum to ‘learn’ something new.
- A further support to this interpretation is the negative effect of the ‘generalist’ visiting, that is those who think that the visit is something worthwhile or come to the museum for accompanying someone.
- The subset of those who decided to stay overnight considers MART as one of the attractions of the territory, but at the same time they are aware that visiting something that one ought to do. These overnight stayers visit MART mainly on weekends.
- The intensity of spending on accommodation is instead negatively related to the opinion of the visiting to the museum as a moment for learning.
- Also spending on food and beverage suggests a positive association with the ‘cultural’ tourist.
- The impact of STMA on the local economy is instead associated to a more ‘generalist’ profile of visitor.
- [STMA] is perceived more as one of the main attractions that are part of the tourist supply than for its strict ‘cultural’ value.
- This emerges also from the analysis of accommodation and food and beverage spending, where no particular proxy of ‘cultural’ aspects is related to spending.