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

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  • Giuseppe Attanasi

    () (GREDEG - Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UNS - Université Nice Sophia Antipolis - UCA - Université Côte d'Azur)

  • Francesco Passarelli

    (University of Turin, Bocconi University [Milan, Italy])

  • Giulia Urso

    (Gran Sasso Science Institute (GSSI))

  • Hana Cosic

    (Institute of Economics, Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, BETA - Bureau d'Économie Théorique et Appliquée - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - UNISTRA - Université de Strasbourg - UL - Université de Lorraine - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

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?," Post-Print halshs-02398648, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-02398648
    DOI: 10.3390/su11092553
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-02398648
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Keith Acheson & Christopher Maule & Elizabet Filleul, 1996. "Cultural entrepreneurship and the Banff Television Festival," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 20(4), pages 321-339, December.
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    5. 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.
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    Keywords

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

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