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

1
GREDEG, CNRS, Université Côte d’Azur, 06560 Nice, France
2
ESOMAS, University of Turin, Baffi Centre, Bocconi University, CESIfo, 20120 Turin, Italy
3
Social Sciences, Gran Sasso Science Institute, 67100 L’Aquila, Italy
4
Institute of Economics, Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, 56100 Pisa, Italy
5
Bureau d’Économie Théorique et Appliquée (BETA), University of Strasbourg, 67085 Strasbourg, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2553; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092553
Received: 2 April 2019 / Revised: 24 April 2019 / Accepted: 29 April 2019 / Published: 2 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainability of Culture and Heritage)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: festival ownership; cultural tourism; sustainable tourism; authenticity; risk aversion; willingness to pay festival ownership; cultural tourism; sustainable tourism; authenticity; risk aversion; willingness to pay
MDPI and ACS Style

Attanasi, G.; Passarelli, F.; Urso, G.; Cosic, H. Privatization of a Tourism Event: Do Attendees Perceive it as a Risky Cultural Lottery? Sustainability 2019, 11, 2553.

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