Museums and Tourists: A Quantitative Look at Curator Perceptions of Tourism
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The contributions of heritage attractions in cultural plans and economic development have long been recognized in the academic literature. However, despite the involvement of museums in such initiatives, there is little written on these issues from the perspective of the museum itself. Museums are important institutions that fulfill many functions in today’s society. While they have long been known as centers of education, cultural preservation and community, museums are increasingly being called upon in new ways that are outside their traditional preserves, including their position as one of the main attractions for cultural tourism. Museums and other cultural sites are the focus of many tourism and cultural plans being used to stimulate economic development. Nevertheless, the museum literature continues to focus on internal issues such as access, authenticity and conservation, with little discussion on the presence of tourists and tourism in the museum. This study aims to add to the existing body of knowledge concerning museums as a tourist attraction by examining curator perceptions of tourism in their museum, in light of their position in cultural and economic plans.