Use value of cultural events: The case of the Christmas markets
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The Christmas market in Meran (Italy) is one of the top 27 European Christmas markets, attracting around 2000 visitors a day for 50 days. The Christmas market is a cultural and retail event that creates a recreational value for visitors. This paper, using the travel cost method, estimates the recreational use value of the Meran Christmas market for one-day and multiple-day visitors. The aim is to estimate the economic or social value (consumer surplus) of the Christmas market to understand in what way the event creates a benefit for society as a whole. The empirical data were collected via a survey administered at the end of a visit at the Christmas market during the 2011e2012 season. The empirical findings highlight that the use value differsdother than according to travel costsdaccording to the type of visit experience and to the perceived authenticity.