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The effects of UNESCO World Heritage List inscription on tourism destinations performance in Italian regions

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  • Cuccia, Tiziana
  • Guccio, Calogero
  • Rizzo, Ilde

Abstract

The article explores the effects of cultural heritage in fostering tourism demand. We look at the role of UNESCO World Heritage List (WHL) in the enhancement of tourism destinations (TDs) competitiveness. In such a perspective, taking Italian regions in the period 1995–2010 as a case study, TDs performance is evaluated and the effects of WHL are assessed, by means of data envelopment analysis (DEA) two-stage approach, in which the determinants of efficiency scores are investigated, employing semiparametric regression. The empirical results show that, while cultural and environmental endowment positively affect the performance of Italian TDs, the presence of UNESCO sites exerts opposite effects. A possible explanation for such results is that the WHL inscription generates positive expectations on both tourism demand and supply, their fulfillment depending on adequate local policies. Thus, policy recommendations to improve the public decision-making process are derived.

Suggested Citation

  • Cuccia, Tiziana & Guccio, Calogero & Rizzo, Ilde, 2016. "The effects of UNESCO World Heritage List inscription on tourism destinations performance in Italian regions," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 494-508.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:53:y:2016:i:c:p:494-508
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econmod.2015.10.049
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