Correcting for sample selection bias in stated preference tourist surveys

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This paper makes novel use of Heckman's sample selection methodology in modelling tourists' choices for cultural heritage attractions. The data used were collected as part of a discrete choice experiment which examined tourists' preferences for two heritage sites: the Knossos Palace and the Heraklion Archaeological Museum, both located on the island of Crete. In particular, the study addresses the possible discrepancies that may have arisen from the fact that the sample population may not have been random, but rather selected systematically as a result of the unobserved effect of the repeat visitation phenomenon. The empirical evidence presented suggests that the correction for sample selection provides a venue for further target audience selection for managers and policy makers. In particular, the main implication to emerge from the analysis is that the two heritage attractions, contrary to the general perception, are part of a tourism demand continuum. As a result, policy makers can capitalize on tourists' different perceptions in their promotion strategies for the two attractions by promoting the Heraklion Archaeological Museum to first-time visitors and the Knossos Palace to repeat visitors to Crete.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 1, 2006

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  • Tourism Economics, published bimonthly, is a peer-reviewed journal devoted to the economics and finance of tourism worldwide. Articles address the components of the tourism product (accommodation; restaurants; merchandizing; attractions; transport; entertainment; tourist activities); and the economic organization of tourism at micro and macro levels (market structure; role of public/private sectors; community interests; strategic planning; marketing; finance; economic development).

    Fast Track. Tourism Economics Fast Track papers have been peer-reviewed, revised and fully accepted for publication. However, although these are the final versions from the authors, they are unedited manuscripts and will undergo a rigorous editing process before their appearance in an issue of the journal. This means that the Fast Track manuscripts may not conform to journal style in terms of presentation, spelling and other usages. They may also contain errors of typography, grammar, spelling, referencing, etc, all of which will be corrected in the processes of copy-editing and proofreading.
    Tourism Economics operates a Fast Track online publication system so that papers can be published and made available almost immediately on final acceptance by the journal. Each Fast Track article is given a DOI. When the paper is assigned to an issue, this DOI will automatically be transferred to the article in the journal issue.
    Fast Track articles may be cited using the DOI. Citations should include the author's or authors' name(s), the title of the article, the title of the journal followed by the words Fast Track, the year of Fast Track publication and the DOI. For example:

    Smith, J. (2013), Article title, Tourism Economics Fast Track, DOI xxxxxxxx.

    Once the paper has been published in an issue of the journal, the DOI will automatically resolve to that final version and the article can be cited in accordance with normal bibliographical conventions.

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