Publisher: University of Tasmania
Subjects: tourism, Marketing
The cultural heritage sector (e.g., museums, art galleries, historic buildings, cultural community festivals and events, etc.) has emerged as an increasingly significant segment of national and regional economies. The sector is now considered an important driver of economic and social development, particularly through cultural tourism. As a result, regional cultural organisations are at a critical time in their history, where they need to adapt to changes in visitor use and community trends, e.g. with respect to changes in what we do with our leisure time. In addition, the income streams from local-council and state funded regional bodies has significantly decreased. All of us in the research team have worked on projects that centre on the arts and cultural sectors, with research investigating marketing, development, management, and cultural tourism issues, and incorporating engagement with both private and public museums. We had previously worked with the Director of the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery (QVMAG), Richard Mulvaney, on an application for funding for another project, currently being reworked for submission later in 2016. While we were conducting a debrief on that application the idea that the Tourism Research and Education Network (TRENd) might offer the chance for not for profit organisations to become Inkind Research Partners surfaced. The result was an agreement to continue our research partnership, under the auspices of TRENd, and focusing on one aspect of our original, larger project: an aspect that also had considerable practical implications for the sustainability of not for profit museums, that is, what motivates museum visitation? Certainly there has been considerable work done on visitor studies, by both academics and museums themselves. While these studies are valid in an academic sense, and obviously of use to museums, they have tended to ignore what comes before the actual visit. However, even studies on why visitors visit have had a narrow focus. As Slater (2007) has noted: Whilst market research and academic studies by sociologists have identified the personal and socio-cultural factors that influence visits to galleries, there has been less attention to the area of motivational research. Understanding motivations is important as it reveals the underlying reasons why visitors choose to participate in specific leisure activities. (Slater, 2007, p. 149) Our project seeks to shed some light on this issue with a detailed academic study on motivations for consuming art and cultural experiences. The results of which we feel will provide a research knowledge base that can be used to expand audiences and increase social and economic impacts, which is vital if regional museums and arts galleries are to have a sustainable future. While it is our intention to publish our findings in academic journals and conference papers, and to seek to add to the body of knowledge around motivation, marketing and museum management research, we are also committed to disseminating our findings directly to the museum sector, as well as to the wider tourism, arts and cultural sectors. Our aim with this Report to Industry is to do just that. We offer practical insight, supported by robust academic research.
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- Alcaraz, C., Hume, M. and Mort, G. 2009, Creating sustainable practice in a museum context: Adopting service-centricity in non-profit museums, Australasian Marketing Journal,17(4): 119-225.
- Beard J. and Ragheb M. 1983, Measuring leisure motivation, Journal of Leisure Research, 15(3): 219- 228.
- Evers, K.E., et al. 2012, Development of an individual well-being scores assessment, Psychology of Well-Being, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 1-9.
- Lehman, K. 2009. Museums and the modern public: A marketing context. Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society, 39(2): 87-100.
- Lehman, K., Wickham, M.D., & Fillis, I. 2014, A cultural tourism research agenda, Annals of Tourism Research, 49, 156-158.
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