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Research based guidelines for effective visitation management of museums’ image

Sergio Moreno-Gil (Institute of Tourism and Sustainable Economic Development (TIDES), Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain)
J.R. Brent Ritchie (World Tourism Education and Research Centre, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada)

International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research

ISSN: 1750-6182

Article publication date: 2 October 2017




This paper aims to better understand museums’ image. The study examined the influence of visitors’ socio-demographic (gender, social class), tripographic (party group, previous experience with the museum and timing of the decision to visit the museum) and geographic characteristics (national – international visitors), on the different components and dimensions of perceived museums’ image (cognitive and affective) in a major tourism destination.


This research focussed on museums located on Gran Canaria (Canary Islands, Spain). The population of the study included museum attendees who visited the main museums of the island (13 museums). The selection of respondents (252) was made following a systematic random sampling at the exit gate of the museums.


The repeat visitors and those who plan the visit in advance were found to have a more positive museums’ image for both the cognitive and the affective components of museum image. There was also a positive influence of party group on the cognitive and affective dimensions of image, whereas families showed a less positive image. In addition, there were significant relationships between the visitors’ socio-demographic characteristics of gender, and social class, and the affective and cognitive components of image – women and higher classes achieving a better image. National visitors also showed a more positive image on both the cognitive and affective components of museum image. Six image dimensions were found and specific effects on each are discussed.


This study adds to the growing literature on museums for a better understanding of the perceived image of this cultural product (museums) at the destination, and how it can be managed according to the profile of their publics. Additionally, it considers the different dimensions of museums’ image: quality of visitation experience, convenience and functionality, price, general appearance, museum shop and affective image.



The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship and/or publication of this article: The authors fully acknowledge financial support for this work by the European FEDER Fund through Project ECO2012-35112 from the Ministerio de Ciencia y Competitividad de España and Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte for visiting professors in international universities.


Moreno-Gil, S. and Ritchie, J.R.B. (2017), "Research based guidelines for effective visitation management of museums’ image", International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, Vol. 11 No. 4, pp. 534-550.



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