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Privatization of a Tourism Event: Do Attendees Perceive it as a Risky Cultural Lottery?

Author

Listed:
  • Giuseppe Attanasi

    () (GREDEG, CNRS, Université Côte d’Azur, 06560 Nice, France)

  • Francesco Passarelli

    () (ESOMAS, University of Turin, Baffi Centre, Bocconi University, CESIfo, 20120 Turin, Italy)

  • Giulia Urso

    () (Social Sciences, Gran Sasso Science Institute, 67100 L’Aquila, Italy)

  • Hana Cosic

    () (Institute of Economics, Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, 56100 Pisa, Italy
    Bureau d’Économie Théorique et Appliquée (BETA), University of Strasbourg, 67085 Strasbourg, France)

Abstract

Individuals might have different views about the benefits and the costs of privatizing a cultural event. On the one hand, privatization may increase the quality of the event due to expanding investments. On the other hand, it may lead to the dissipation of important cultural and traditional connotations. Since benefits and costs are uncertain, we frame an individual’s choice regarding privatization as a lottery choice, where risk aversion and other individual traits play a role. We empirically investigate attendees’ preferences for privatizing a mass gathering festival in Italy. The festival is attended by almost 100,000 tourists each year. Over a three-year period, we collected a large dataset of survey questions. We find that willingness to accept privatization is decreasing in tourists’ risk aversion, while it is increasing in their sensitivity to the festival’s quality. Cultural tourists perceive a higher risk of commodification in the case of privatization. Authenticity-seeking tourists act as gatekeepers of the genuine roots of local traditions. They demand original values, ultimately contributing to the festival’s cultural sustainability. The purpose of attracting visitors is in fact commonly assumed to alter local culture, resulting in a staged authenticity; and privatization of cultural goods is often associated with commodification.

Suggested Citation

  • Giuseppe Attanasi & Francesco Passarelli & Giulia Urso & Hana Cosic, 2019. "Privatization of a Tourism Event: Do Attendees Perceive it as a Risky Cultural Lottery?," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(9), pages 1-16, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:11:y:2019:i:9:p:2553-:d:227864
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Attanasi, Giuseppe & Casoria, Fortuna & Centorrino, Samuele & Urso, Giulia, 2013. "Cultural investment, local development and instantaneous social capital: A case study of a gathering festival in the South of Italy," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 228-247.
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    4. Giuseppe Attanasi & Stefania Bortolotti & Simona Cicognani & Antonio Filippin, 2017. "The drunk side of trust: Social capital generation at gathering events," Working Papers of BETA 2017-21, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    5. Mark Morrison & David John Dowell, 2015. "Sense of Place and Willingness to Pay: Complementary Concepts When Evaluating Contributions of Cultural Resources to Regional Communities," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(8), pages 1374-1386, August.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    festival ownership; cultural tourism; sustainable tourism; authenticity; risk aversion; willingness to pay;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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