Marketing cultural attractions: Understanding non-attendance and visitation barriers

Pandora L. Kay, Emma Wong, Michael Jay Polonsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to draw together the previous academic and industry research on non-attendance of cultural attractions, followed by qualitative in-depth interviews to identify commonalities or gaps in the previous research on barriers, constraints and inhibitors, as well as to propose linkages between these. Design/methodology/approach - A multi-method approach is used - where barriers, constraints and inhibitors are identified by means of thematic content analysis of the literature. A set of probing questions is developed based on these themes and is then examined in in-depth interviews with individuals that had not visited cultural attractions in the past two years, in an attempt to triangulate data, as well as to identify connections between barriers. Findings - From the literature, eight interconnected barriers to visitation are identified: physical access; personal access; cost; time and timing; product; personal interest and peer group; socialisation and understanding; and information. The in-depth interviews generally support these, although it is also identified that there are complex interrelationships between the issues. Originality/value - This paper addresses the neglected question of why people do not attend cultural attractions by triangulating thematic findings from the content analysis of diverse literature with in-depth interview responses from one non-visitor segment. This results in an interconnected model of barriers that can be used to assist managers to develop strategies addressing low visitation rates within targeted segments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)833-854
Number of pages22
JournalMarketing Intelligence and Planning
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Arts
  • Interviews
  • Marketing strategy
  • Perception
  • Tourism development


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