Tourism consumption and opportunity for the territory: Exploring the case of Matera, 2019 European Capital of Culture

Fabrizio Baldassarre, Francesca Ricciardi, Raffaele Campo


Purpose. Matera is an ancient city, located in the South of Italy and known all over the world for the famous Sassi; the city has been recently seen an increasing in flows of tourism thanks to its nomination to acquire the title of 2019 European Capital of Culture in Italy. The aim of the present work is to investigate about the level of services offered to tourists, the level of satisfaction, the possible improvements and the weak points to strengthen in order to realize a high service quality, to stimulate new behaviours and increase the market demand.

Methodology. The methodology applied makes reference to an exploratory study conducted with the content analysis; the information is collected through a questionnaire submitted to a tourist sample, in cooperation with hotel and restaurant associations, museums, and public/private tourism institutions.

Findings.  First results show how important is to study the relationship between the supply of services and tourists behaviour to create value through the identification of improving situations, suggesting the rapid adoption of corrective policies which allow an economic return for the territory.

Practical implications. It is possible to realize a competitive advantage analyzing the potentiality of the city to attract incoming tourism, the level of touristic attractions, studying the foreign tourist’s behaviour.

Originality/value. The originality of the work is the study of tourist behaviours, preferences and perception of delivered services offered to tourists in this area, which has recently become a flourishing tourism destination. In particular, its cultural nomination represents an opportunity to understand the potentiality of the territory and improve some aspects that tourists consider important. In this way it is possible to enhance the management system, to facilitate service innovation, to guarantee a better tourist experience, realizing a smarter tourism destination.


tourist behaviour; tourism; quality services; tourist experience; service improvement

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