Changes in the Guimarães visitors` profile and the city attributes perceptions in the post hosting of the 2012 European Capital of Culture



destination attributes perceptions, 2012 European Capital of Culture, Guimarães, visitors’ profile


The European Capitals of Culture (ECOC) are the most ambitious European cultural partnership project implemented in Europe, if one looks at its scale. In 2012, for the first time in Portugal, a medium sized city was its host. Guimarães (in the northwest of Portugal) was the city chosen. Three years after hosting the ECOC, it is time to assess what has changed as a consequence of hosting the event, in terms of visitors’ profile and the perception of the city´s attributes. Primary data sources were used, gathered via conducting surveys on tourists in the ex-ante (2010/11) and post-event periods (2015) to Guimarães. Analytically, statistical methods were used putting in evidence the similarities and /or differences found regarding the visitors’ profiles and perceptions towards the destination´s attributes, when looking at the two time periods being analyzed. In relation to the results achieved, it was concluded that a change in the visitors’ profile to Guimarães took place (there was a more balance between men and women; a decrease in the amount of tourists aged from 0 to 25 and an increase in those aged from 46 to 65; as well as an increase in tourists with lower schooling levels), aside from a notorious evolution in what regards the perceived city attributes. One believes that the empirical results attained are a valuable source of information for tour operators and, mainly, for city planning and for the managing authorities.

Author Biographies

  • Paula Cristina Remoaldo, Department of Geography/Institute of Social Sciences, University of Minho/ Lab2PT
    Paula Cristina Remoaldo is associate professor with Habilitation of Geography at the Social Sciences Institute of the University of Minho, and Co-Coordinator of Investigation Group "Space and Representation (SpaceR)" of Laboratory of Landscape, Heritage and Territory – Lab2PT. She got a PhD in Human Geography (1999). She is the Director of PhD in Geography  of the University of Minho, Braga, Portugal.
  • Laurentina Maria Cruz Vareiro, School of Management, Polytechnic Institute of Cávado and Ave
    Laurentina Vareiro is associate professor of Economics at the School of Management, Polytechnic Institute of Cávado and Ave (IPCA), Portugal. She has a PhD in Economics (2008) at the University of Minho, Braga. She is investigator at Applied Management Research Unit (UNIAG) and is the coordinator of the master in Tourism Management at IPCA.
  • José António Cadima Ribeiro, School of Economics and Management, University of Minho/NIPE
    José Cadima Ribeiro is full professor of Economics at the Department of Economics of the School of Economics and Management, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal. He got his PhD (1989) in Economics at University of Minho. He is author or co-author of several papers dealing with industrial location, regional policy, tourism economics and regional development issues.


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Applied Cultural Studies: Research Papers

How to Cite

Remoaldo, P. C., Vareiro, L. M. C., & Cadima Ribeiro, J. A. (2024). Changes in the Guimarães visitors` profile and the city attributes perceptions in the post hosting of the 2012 European Capital of Culture. Tourism & Management Studies, 13(4), 43-53.

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