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Keeping your audience : presenting a visitor engagement scale

Taheri, Babak and Jafari, Aliakbar and O'Gorman, Kevin D. (2014) Keeping your audience : presenting a visitor engagement scale. Tourism Management, 42. 321–329. ISSN 0261-5177

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Understanding visitors’ level of engagement with tourist attractions is vital for successful heritage management and marketing. This paper develops a scale to measure visitors’ level of engagement in tourist attractions. It also establishes a relationship between the drivers of engagement and level of engagement using Partial Least Square, whereby both formative and reflective scales are included. The structural model is tested with a sample of 625 visitors at Kelvingrove Museum in Glasgow, UK. The empirical validation of the conceptual model supports the research hypotheses. Whilst prior knowledge, recreational motivation and omnivore-univore cultural capital positively affect visitors’ level of engagement, there is no significant relationship between reflective motivation and level of engagement. These findings contribute to a better understanding of visitor engagement in tourist attractions. A series of managerial implications are also proposed.