Project Details

Description

In the small village of Nuenen in the Netherlands, Vincent van Gogh, the legendary artist, resided with his parents for two years in the late 19th century. Today, visitors can literally walk in Vincent’s footsteps and hear stories about that period of his life. There is also a renovated indoor museum in the village showcasing many beautiful and inspiring objects.

We carefully studied the visitor experience over two rounds of data collection: one in 2018 and another in 2023 after the museum's renovation. In the second round, 40 students from Breda University of Applied Sciences were invited to spend a day in Nuenen. The participants, aged mostly between 20 and 30 years, came from the Netherlands and 16 other countries. None of them had visited the previous museum setup in Nuenen, although two-thirds had visited at least one other Vincent-centered attraction or had researched Vincent and his life prior to the visit.

During their visit, research participants were tracked using Bluetooth beacons (indoors) and GPS tracking (outdoors), while wearing wristbands that measured their level of emotional engagement in real time. They toured the museum and the village and provided feedback on their experience through questionnaires administered before and after the visit.

The results of the research showed that visitors were emotionally touched at certain stops of the tour more than others, enjoyed interacting with specific elements in the museum, and spent more time in particular areas of the museum. Most participants could vividly imagine themselves back in the days (narrative transportation), felt closer to Nuenen residents as a result of the visit, and generally found the visit to be quite meaningful. Learning and self-expansion were high, with some visitors even finding the visit transformative, leading to changes in attitude, behavior, and identities. We also found a strong correlation between these measures and the Net Promoter Score (NPS). Recommendations and emotion maps were presented to the museum as they continue to refine their visitor experiences.

Research carried out for Van Gogh Village Museum Nunen.
StatusActive
Effective start/end date1/09/2315/07/24

Funding

  • Centre of Expertise in Leisure, Tourism and Hospitality (CELTH) and BUas

Keywords

  • visitor studies
  • leisure
  • international
  • impact
  • shared experiences
  • storytelling
  • Nuenen

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