It is widely recognized that cultural tourism is a relevant economic phenomenon, but so far the determinants of cultural tourists' choices have not been explored by the economic literature in depth. The expanding notion of cultural tourism as participation to cultural experience makes difficult the characterization of this phenomenon. This paper aims at investigating cultural tourists' profiles: Once these profiles are defined, we can also try to estimate what factors affect the choice of 'strongly motivated' cultural tourists, using econometric analysis. The analysis is carried out using a unique database: data and information on the preferences and the behaviour of visitors in the area surrounding the Orta Lake in Italy are obtained via global positioning system (GPS) technology, which monitors the spatial-temporal flows generated by tourists, and these are combined with a questionnaire. Unlike other empirical studies carried out in destinations with only a strong cultural characterization, the mixed features of the Orta Lake (an assortment of culture, nature and sport/recreation attractions) allow carrying out an analysis with a wider scope for understanding cultural tourists' behaviour and the connections between various types of cultural attractions.
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