Visitor flows to World Heritage Sites in the era of Instagram
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionFalk, M. T. & Hagsten, E. (2020). Visitor flows to World Heritage Sites in the era of Instagram. Journal of Sustainable Tourism. https://doi.org/10.1080/09669582.2020.1858305
The aim of this study is to investigate the extent of visitors to World Heritage Sites in Europe and North America, given their specific location and characteristics. Visitor flows are approximated by 680 million Instagram posts for about 525 World Heritage Sites. Independent variables encompass year of inscription, size, type (monuments, churches, castles, architecture, industrial heritage, archaeological sites and cultural and natural landscapes), covered by the danger list, inclusion criteria and country of location. Results using robust regression and spatial lag models show that entire world heritage cities receive the highest number of Instagram posts while industrial heritage and prehistoric sites get the lowest number. The number of Instagram posts is significantly higher for the few World Heritage Sites included in the danger list and World Heritage Sites that are nominated in the early years of the programme.