Cultural tourism is an attractive growth market that enjoys considerable prestige among cultural institutions, tourists and politicians alike. It refers to recreational journeys made for the purpose of cultural activities to a greater or lesser extent. Cultural tourists are people who avail themselves of cultural offers outside of their place of residence for leisure, entertainment or education. This is normally done as part of a day trip or short holiday.
Successful marketing requires a correct distinction between different types of cultural tourists. The first type is merely marginally interested in culture (“accidental” or “drop-in” visitors). The second type travels with the express purpose of partaking in cultural offers (“heavy users” or “connoisseurs”). The third type consumes cultural offers as one of many activities, such as hiking or shopping (“interested holidaymakers” or “occasional users”).
Cultural tourism also plays an important role in the applied research carried out at the Institute of Cultural Management. These projects focus on marketing issues and the question of how cultural institutions can attract cultural tourists more effectively. Current topics include the potential of digital media – social media, apps, augmented reality – and the challenges of cultural tourism in rural areas.