An exploration of the specialization concept within the context of heritage tourism

Deborah L. Kerstetter, John J. Confer, Alan R. Graefe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

159 Scopus citations


Americans' interest in traveling to historic sites has increased recently and is expected to continue. Despite this trend, however, very little is known about individuals who visit heritage or cultural sites. Evidence suggests that there may be types of tourists who progress from general travelers to focused or specialized tourists. The objective of this study was to document whether types of heritage tourists exist and, if so, whether they differ based on sociodemographic characteristics, visitation behavior, motivations, and/or perceptions. Using a 10-item specialization index composed of items representing three subdimensions theorized to represent the multidimensional nature of specialization, three types of heritage specialists were identified. All differed with respect to education, visitation behavior, motivations, and overall satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-274
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Travel Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Transportation
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


Dive into the research topics of 'An exploration of the specialization concept within the context of heritage tourism'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this