Informations and abstract
Keywords: Territory; Cultural Tourism; Opera Houses.
Nowadays, culture and tourism are two keywords of growing importance, more than ever, for the Italian recovery from the present global economic crisis. Therefore, policy makers and tourism operators view cultural tourism as a strategic potential source of growth. On the other hand, in everyone's imaginary, Italy is strongly linked to culture, both material and immaterial, on which it founds expected significant tourist flows. Moreover, music is "per se" an immaterial cultural resource without boundaries. Instead, Italian Opera Houses act generally in local markets, even if in some cases their reputation and prestige let the potential audience to be international, too. Only recently, in order to attract more spectators, cultural organizations started to pay more attention to the major attractive components of their activities in order to disclose «the» ideal optimal audience able to minimize budget losses: ticket sales cover less than half the cost of each season. This paper focuses on evaluating the impact of culture on tourism in enhancing destination attractiveness and competitiveness through the economic and cultural market value of the main Opera Houses around the world. It investigates the economic impact of the Italian Opera Houses to give a contingent evaluation of this soundless cultural asset. We apply a common framework of reference in literature and in management practice. Considering the challenges given by the recent institutional and managerial changes and the opera product and audience characteristic, this paper aims at suggesting a common framework of the Italian Opera Houses' market structure and measuring the potential appeal to attract dedicated tourist flows and the sustainability of a tourist approach.