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A Beam of Light: Media, Tourism & Economic Development

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Listed:
  • Samuel Nocito
  • Marcello Sartarelli
  • Francesco Sobbrio

Abstract

Tourism accounts for around one tenth of global GDP. We analyze the impact of entertainment media in drawing tourists to filming locations (media multiplier ) and, in turn, the effect of tourism on local economic development (tourism multiplier ). To assess the media multiplier, we employ a triple-difference empirical strategy exploiting the staggered international release across the EU of Inspector Montalbano, a TV series set in four municipalities of Sicily, a region of Italy. We find that the series release led to a fourfold increase in the number of tourists and boosted tourist expenditure by a factor of 2.5. Furthermore, we provide evidence of positive spillovers in nearby municipalities. To estimate the tourism multiplier, we exploit the interaction between the filming locations and the time-varying share of countries in which the series was aired, to instrument total tourist expenditure at the municipality-time level. Our results show that a 10% increase in total tourist expenditure translates into an increase in municipal income of 4.7%. The paper suggests that both entertainment media and tourism can be powerful tools to boost economic development.

Suggested Citation

  • Samuel Nocito & Marcello Sartarelli & Francesco Sobbrio, 2021. "A Beam of Light: Media, Tourism & Economic Development," CESifo Working Paper Series 9055, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_9055
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    media; tourism; economic development;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media
    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • Z32 - Other Special Topics - - Tourism Economics - - - Tourism and Development

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