On Spatial Differences in the Attractiveness of Dutch Museums

Thomas de Graaff, Jaap Boter, Jan Rouwendal
(2009) Environment and Planning A, 41(11), 2778-2797

DOI Online

Museums may serve as important amenities for inhabitants and act as magnets for attracting visitors to a city. For city planners it is important to understand what different types of museums there are in terms of attraction power, and how their attractiveness may depend on the presence of other museums. To this end, we propose a gravity model for all museums allowing for spatial dependence between museums to account for local competition or synergy effects. To address the likely heterogeneity in our sample of museums, we first adopt a spatial error component model. Thereafter, we model the variation between museums explicitly by segmenting the museums using a finite mixture approach. The application of this model uses a unique transaction database of the visiting behaviour of 80 821 persons to 108 Dutch museums. The results stress the large variation both in the spatial reach of museums and in their spatial context.