Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Tourism attraction systems: Exploring cultural behavior

Richards, Greg


Greg Richards


Attractions are vital sub-elements in all whole tourism systems, and yet their study suffers from lack of theoretical depth and empirical foundation. This paper presents an empirical exploration of the attraction system model, based on a survey of over 6,000 tourists to cultural attractions. The results provide strong support both for the general structure of the model and for the idea that tourists are "pushed" towards attractions by their motivations. Visitation is shown to be strongly related to motivation, attraction markers, use of different media, and touristic characteristics. Potential areas of development for the model are suggested, including more consideration of the relationship between agency and structure. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.


Richards, G. (2002). Tourism attraction systems: Exploring cultural behavior. Annals of Tourism Research, 29(4), 1048-1064.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Oct 1, 2002
Journal Annals of Tourism Research
Print ISSN 0160-7383
Publisher Elsevier Masson
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Volume 29
Issue 4
Pages 1048-1064
Keywords attraction systems, markers, cultural attractions, motivations, cultural tourism
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : Developed from the ATLAS Cultural Tourism Project (originally financed by the EU) this research has subsequently developed into a global research project involving over 50 partners from 30 countries and the completion of over 45,000 visitors surveys which have informed policy documents of World Tourism Organisation and European Travel Commission.

Downloadable Citations