Hedonic Value of Italian Tourism Supply: Comparing Environmental and Cultural Attractiveness
40 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2015
Date Written: September 26, 2014
This paper provides an empirical evaluation of the main determinants of hotel prices in the Italian tourism industry. We pool information from two datasets: i) a database on hotel prices and attributes based on the Touring Club Italia Guide and providing information on about 1,100 hotels located in almost 300 towns in the entire Italian coastal region; and ii) a set of neighbourhood characteristics indicators that assess local environmental quality and artistic and cultural attractiveness. On the basis of the results of a hedonic analysis of hotel price differentials, we show that tourists place a high value on both marine environmental quality and local access to artistic and cultural amenities. The contribution to consumer utility is sizeable in both cases, but that of artistic and cultural amenities appears to be more stable across seasons. On the whole, our results suggest that the widespread availability of an extraordinarily rich artistic and cultural endowment, as is the case of Italy, may strongly complement environmental attributes in supporting the non-price competitiveness of the coastal tourism industry.
Keywords: tourism, environment, artistic and cultural attractiveness
JEL Classification: L83, Q53, R11, Z11
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