Previous research and statistical sources on the European cultural attraction market are reviewed. The European Association for Tourism and Leisure Education (ATLAS) Cultural Tourism Research Programme is then described. A profile of the cultural visitors to the attractions surveyed in 1997 is presented as well as comparisons between cultural visitors in Eastern and Western Europe. The picture that emerges of cultural tourists in the 1997 ATLAS survey is consistent with the picture obtained in 1992, and with other studies of the cultural tourism market. Cultural visitors tend to be better educated, have professional or managerial jobs and have relatively high incomes.