Are museums leisure venues?

People give many reasons for visiting or not visiting museums which are closely tied to choices people make about how they will spend their leisure time.

Molly Hood's work found that six concepts affect the decisions that people make about their leisure choices: being with people (social interaction); doing something worthwhile for the self or others; feeling comfortable and at ease in the surroundings; challenging new experiences; the opportunity to learn and actively participating (Hood, 1995). A wide variety of research has been undertaken into museums as leisure and tourist destinations. This reading list contains a bibliography of key readings about museums and leisure.

Museums and Leisure: Reading List
  • Ajzen, I., & Driver, B. (1992). Application of the Theory of Planned Behaviour to Leisure Choice. Journal of Leisure Research, 24(3), 207-224.
  • Beeho, A., & Prentice, R. (1995). Evaluating the Experiences and Benefits Gained by Tourists Visiting A Socio-Industrial Heritage Museum: An Application of AESB Grid Analysis to Blists Hill Open-Air Museum, The Ironbridge Gorge Museum, United Kingdom. Museum Management and Curatorship, 14(3), 229-251.
  • Crang, M. (1996). Magic Kingdom or a Quixotic Quest for Authenticity? Annals of Tourism Research, 23(2), 415-431.
  • Davies, S. (1994). The Museum Visitor: Statistical Information and Trends. In G. Durbin (Ed.), Developing Museum Exhibitions for Lifelong Learning (1996 ed., pp. 52-55). London: The Stationery Office for the Group for Education in Museums.
  • Foo, L., & Rossetto, A. (1998). Cultural Tourism in Australia: Characteristics and Motivations. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia.
  • Harkin, M. (1995). Modernist Anthropology and Tourism of the Authentic. Annals of Tourism Research, 22(3), 650-670.
  • Hood, M. (1995). Audience Research Tell Us Why Visitors Come to Museums - and why they don't. in Scott, C. (ed.) Evaluation and Visitor Research in Museums: Towards 2000. Sydney: Powerhouse Publishing, 3-10.
  • Jackson, M., White, G., & Schmierer, C. (1996). Tourism Experiences Within an Attributional Framework. Annals of Tourism Research, 23(4), 798-810.
  • Jansen-Verbeke, M. and van Rekom, J. (1996). Scanning Museum Visitors. Annals of Tourism Research, 23(2), 364-375.
  • Kawashima, N. (1998). Knowing the Public. A Review of Museum Marketing Literature and Research. Museum Management and Curatorship, 17(1), 21-39.
  • Kelly, L. (2001). Developing a model of museum visiting. Paper presented at the National Cultures, National Identity. Museums Australia Annual Conference, Canberra.
  • Lynch, R., Burton, C., Scott, C., Wilson, P., & Smith, P. (2000). Leisure and Change: implications for museums in the 21st century. Sydney: Powerhouse Publishing.
  • Masberg, B., & Silverman, L. (1996). Visitor Experiences at Heritage Sites: A Phenomenological Approach. Journal of Travel Research, 34(4), 20-25.
  • Merriman, N. (1989). Museum Visiting as a Cultural Phenomenon. In P. Vergo (Ed.), The New Museology (pp. 149-171). London: Reaktion Books.
  • Milman, A. (1991). The Role of Theme Parks as a Leisure Activity for Local Communities. Journal of Travel Research, 30, 11-16.
  • Packer, J. (2002). Motivational factors and the experience of learning in educational leisure settings. Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane.
  • Packer, J. (2002). Motivational factors and the visitor experience: A comparison of museums and other contexts. Paper presented at the UNCOVER - graduate research in the museum sector Conference, Sydney.
  • Prentice, R. (1994). Perceptual Deterrents to Visiting Museums and Other Heritage Attractions. Museum Management and Curatorship, 13, 264-279.
  • Prentice, R. (1998). Recollections of Museum Visits: A Case Study of Remembered Cultural Attraction Visiting on the Isle of Man. Museum Management and Curatorship, 17(1), 41-64.
  • Prentice, R., Davies, A., & Beeho, A. (1997). Seeking Generic Motivations for Visiting and Not Visiting Museums and Like Cultural Attractions. Museum Management and Curatorship, 16(1), 45-70.
  • Prentice, R., Witt, S., & Hamer, C. (1998). Tourism as Experience. The Case of Heritage Parks. Annals of Tourism Research, 25(1), 1-24.
  • Prince, D. (1990). Factors Influencing Museum Visits: An Empirical Evaluation of Audience Selection. Museum Management and Curatorship, 9, 149-168.
  • Ryan, C., & Glendon, I. (1998). Application of Leisure Motivation Scale to Tourism. Annals of Tourism Research, 25, 169-184.
  • Scott, C., & Burton, C. (2000). What do we seek in our leisure? Museum National(May), 26. Soren, B. (1995). Triangulation Strategies and Images of Museums as Sites for Lifelong Learning. Museum Management and Curatorship, 14(1), 31-46.
  • Scott, C., & Burton, C. (2001). Museums: Challenges for the 21st Century. Paper presented at the National Collections, National Cultures, Museums Australia Annual Conference, Canberra.
  • Sweeney Research. (2001). The Sweeney Arts Report. Sydney: Sweeney Research.
  • Tian, S., Crompton, J., & Witt, P. (1996). Integrating Constraints and Benefits to Identify Responsive Target Markets for Museum Attractions. Journal of Travel Research, Fall, 34-45.


Lynda Kelly
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