Who Visits World Heritage? A Comparative Analysis of Three Cultural Sites.

Bailey Ashton Adie, C. Michael Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Heritage tourism is a growing segment of the modern tourism industry, and several studies have been undertaken to identify the individuals who participate in this type of tourism. These have indicated that heritage tourists, generally, are middle class, middle age, and well educated. However, despite their iconic role, there has been relatively little attention paid to profile of visitors to World Heritage Sites. This study aims to better understand the demography of this specific tourism segment through the use of survey-based research at three geographically diverse World Heritage Sites: Independence Hall in the USA, Studenica Monastery in Serbia, and the Archaeological Site of Volubilis in Morocco. Through the use of descriptive statistics, several over-arching trends were noted among the three sites. World Heritage Site visitors were found to be very well educated, but they did not have any similarities in relation to age, income, or residence, which contrasts the “general” heritage tourist typology. However, there were several World Heritage specific trends. While this work is a snapshot of the three sites under study and thus is difficult to generalize, it provides the basis for more comprehensive demographic research on visitors to World Heritage Sites.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-80
JournalJournal of Heritage Tourism
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes


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