Destination Authenticity as a Trigger of Tourists’ Online Engagement on Social Media

Minseong Kim, Jihye Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


This study empirically investigates the dimensions of destination authenticity from the perspectives of outbound travelers from the United States. East Asian countries have invited Western tourists to their destinations by offering authentic, unique experiences of local life and culture. In response to this trend, this study examines the influences of destination authenticity on international tourists’ place attachment, destination satisfaction, and engagement on social media. Based on the literature, three facets of destination authenticity are investigated: conformity, realness, and transformation. The empirical findings indicate that conformity and realness lead tourists not only to be emotionally attached to a destination but, in social media, to also click the “like” buttons and leave comments on the postings about destinations. With the empirical results, theoretical and managerial implications are discussed with an emphasis on tourists’ perception of destination authenticity and online behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1238-1252
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Travel Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2019.


  • cultural tourism
  • online engagement
  • perceived authenticity
  • place attachment
  • schema congruity
  • social media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Transportation
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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