Authenticity in Historical Art Cities according to the Resilience orientation
Keywords:authenticity, cultural tourism, historical art cities, cultural motivation, loyalty
This research aims to validate the Consumer-Based Model of Authenticity by applying it to the realm of large historical art cities destinations. Building upon existing literature models that explore authenticity, cultural motivation, and loyalty, we apply a conceptual model that contributes to a comprehensive understanding of these significant factors. By incorporating these dimensions, our aim is to advance the theoretical framework and empirical knowledge pertaining to authenticity within the context of historical art cities, destinations known to be subject to phenomena such as ‘touristification’ and gentrification, in which authenticity is both jeopardized by mass tourism and at the same time an effective strategy for building resilience in heritage cities in regard to their cultural and environmental integrity. A survey was conducted on a sample of 129 respondents. The questionnaire was administered via Prolific to both tourists who have previously visited Rome and those who have never visited the city. To test the conceptual model, factor analysis and SEM were employed through R software. From a theoretical perspective, the research findings offer insights that contribute to a deeper comprehension of the nature of authenticity in the resilience of heritage cities’ context. This study explores the interconnections between the factors influencing authenticity and their subsequent impacts within a heritage city as a destination. By investigating the antecedents and consequences of authenticity, this research sheds light on the intricate dynamics and relationships at play in the realm of heritage cities. Understanding the interconnections between authenticity and resilience offers valuable insights into preserving the unique cultural identity of heritage cities while adapting to tourism challenges. The study provides destination managers with a valuable tool to systematically measure the impact of marketing and communication policies on the perceived authenticity of visitors over time. It offers insights into the extent to which these strategies can influence tourists' future intentions to visit. Furthermore, authenticity acts as a powerful approach to protect historical art cities from the negative effects of mass tourism and touristification. By preserving their unique identity and cultural heritage, authenticity promotes sustainable development economically and environmentally. This research empowers destination managers to assess the effectiveness of their efforts in enhancing perceived authenticity and its subsequent influence on tourists' decision-making processes.
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