Music tourism, notes for a trip

Wednesday, 03 May 2017

A premise. Our goal is not to complicate your work. Actually, it is the opposite. Through the platform and the services related to it, we always aim to find the best solutions that suit your customers’ needs, constantly assisting you in an efficient way.

6tour Magazine also aim to facilitate your work, representing a useful resource to help you pack your travel proposals and keeping you up to date on travel trends. Some topics, however, are complex. Music tourism is one of them. We want to mention, at least in part, issues that are still open, to provide you with a complete picture. End of the premise.


Music tourism, looking for a definition

First issue: there is no universally recognized definition of music tourism. The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has not yet provided any useful parameter to trace a profile of the music tourist.

Perhaps because it tends to consider music tourism as a niche market of cultural tourism, Stefania Cerutti (UPO) and Ilaria Dioli (Unicatt) point out in a text called The Music, from the background to the protagonist. Some considerations and tourism experiences in Europe*.

Perhaps because even the definition of cultural tourism has been for years the subject of debates and studies that have not yet led to a unified vision. And here’s the second issue. Also the cultural one, in fact, is a type of tourism «difficult to crystallize», writes Martha Mary Friel (IULM, CSS-EBLA) in a speech published on the MiBACT Research Office website**.


In fact, there are many definitions of cultural tourism. The one edited by UNWTO recites: «[cultural tourism] represents all those movements of people motivated by cultural purposes such as study holidays, attendance of live concerts, festivals, cultural events, visits of archaeological sites and monuments, pilgrimages».

What UNWTO writes, makes the picture more complex «cultural tourism also concerns the pleasure of immerse yourself in the local lifestyle and in everything that constitutes the identity and character of a place» and, moreover, cultural tourism represents all those movements that «meet the human need for diversity, tending to increase the individual’s cultural level bringing new knowledge, experiences and encounters».

It seems that there is a little bit of everything in the definition edited by the UNWTO. And to be honest, the debate on the definitions provided by other organizations and associations continues, such as ATLAS (Association for Tourism and Leisure Education) and ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites).

Musical tourism: our “definition”

Luckily, many studies allow us to define our areas of action in the field of music tourism. Like John Connell, professor and director of the School of Geosciences at the University of Sydney, and Chris Gibson, professor of Human Geography and director of the Global Challenges Program at the University of Wollongong.

Precisely Connell and Gibson’s researches*** were our reference when we dealt with the fundamentals of music tourism. We have learned their definition of music tourism:

 the involvement of the traveler in listening or in music-making experiences, which may include visits of theaters, museums, houses of musicians, cemeteries where musicians lie, locations, landscapes and itineraries mentioned in song lyrics and places of production of music.

We have acquired the definition elaborated by Connell and Gibson because we are certain that music tourism is a reality with its own independent peculiarity, motivations and experiences.


We find confirmation of our certainty in several studies, including the one already mentioned by Cerruti and Dioli.

«In reference to the demand, it should be specified that a significant part of the tourist movement still today classified as “cultural”, is actually made up of people attracted and motivated by musical events and/or music-related places», write the two experts.

The difference between music tourism and cultural tourism is also fundamental because «when music is the purpose of the journey itself, it is capable, with its emotional charge, to lead many people to places that otherwise would only count on a different type of tourism, more traditional, or no type of tourism at all», still highlight Cerruti and Dioli.

How much is music tourism worth?

Music tourism is not just a specific reality, with its own dignity, but also a formidable incentive for economies. This is certified by the studies Wish You Were Here edited by UK Music, an association that look after the interests of the British music industry, dedicated to the value of music tourism, with reference to live concerts.


Here are some numbers from Wish You Were Here 2016****, the latest study regarding the music market in the UK in 2015:

  • 10 million and 400,000 music tourists, equal to 38% of the total number of people who attended live performances and concerts, with a 16% growth on an annual basis
  • 3 billion and 700,000 million pounds generated between direct and indirect expenses, with an increase of 7% on an annual basis
  • 852 pounds the average expense by the music tourist, with an increase of 13% on an annual basis
  • 39,034 full-time jobs thanks to music tourism.

Destinations, concerts and music events 2017

Rome, Verona and Amalfi in Italy. Ibiza in Spain. San Diego in the USA. Here are the destinations that we suggest to recommend to your customers who want to live music-related experiences.

Rome, Italy

Verona, Italy

Verona Arena Opera Festival, organized by the Verona Arena Foundation

They stop in Verona, among the others:

Amalfi, Italy

Amalfi Coast Music & Arts Festival, by the Center for Musical Studies

Ravello Festival, by the Ravello Foundation

Ibiza, Spain

IMS 10 Ibiza, by the International Music Summit

Ibiza 2017 Party Calendar, by My Ibiza

San Diego, USA

KAABOO Del Mar Festival (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pink, Muse and many more)

San Diego LGBT Pride Music Festival

Concerts and events in San Diego, by ConcertFix


We would like to greet you with a sentence pronounced by the master technologist Gigi Tagliapietra*****:

the music, in tourism, does not need to have spectators, it is necessary to have protagonists

Enjoy the journey with 6Tour!




*La musica, da sottofondo a protagonista. Alcune riflessioni ed esperienze di turismo in Europa

Stefania Cerutti e Ilaria Dioli, XXXIV Conferenza Italiana di Scienze Regionali

**Turismo culturale: possibile misurarlo?

Martha Mary Friel

***A Sense of place: Examining music-based tourism and its implications in destinations venue placement

Richard Bret, Campbell University of Nevada, Las Vegas

****Wish You Were Here 2016

UK Music

*****BTO, Musica e Turismo: Intervista a Gigi Tagliapietra

Previous Article Next Article