What influences attendance or non-attendance at heritage sites?

What influences attendance or non-attendance at heritage sites?

By Centre for Economics and Business Research Ltd


This investigation for English Heritage looked at what factors, such as health or access to transport, affect whether people are likely or not likely to visit heritage sites. Arts marketers and people looking to engage visitors with culture, especially outside urban locations, will learn which are the main motivating or limiting factors, including lack of facilities, exposure to heritage sites in childhood, ethnic background etc, that impact on visitor levels. Form this they can think about how to address the issues or how to communicate about their site in ways that address these barriers.

The main factors behind attendance

We found that the main factors that are related to whether or not a person attends a heritage site are accessibility and a person’s background.

In particular, whether or not a person has access to a vehicle (owned by the household) has a strong relationship with heritage attendance. Out of the people who have access to a vehicle 74.8 per cent attend heritage sites. In households were a person does not own a vehicle 48.5 per cent attend heritage sites, as can be seen in Figure 1.

However, access to a vehicle is highly correlated with many other factors such as a person’s health and their income. The model takes into account these factors to calculate its individual relationship with attendance. It calculates the predicted probability to be 67.0 per cent. This means, holding all other factors at their margin so a person is on the balance of attending or not, if a person owns a vehicle the probability of them attending a heritage site is 67.0 per cent. On the other hand, the probability of a person attending a heritage site who does not have access to a vehicle is 33.0 per cent.

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Resource type: Research | Published: 2013