Defining authenticity and its determinants: Toward an authenticity flow model

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

136 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to broaden the understanding of authenticity through an empirical examination of Scottish goods sold to tourists at retail outlets and festivals. The focus was on vendors selling Scottish merchandise in the United States and Canada. A majority of the vendors describe authenticity as a representation of Scottish traditions, and their definitions do not vary with their socioeconomic characteristics but with the percentage of income obtained from festivals. The study further traces the authenticity flow in the marketing system on a continuum of 1 to 4, with 1 being the originator and 4 being the receiver. The results indicate that authenticity is supply driven and that producers are its determinants who obtain verificationsfrom the trade fair, historians, and ancestral heritage. Vendors act as liaisons between the producers and the consumers, and, contrary to expectations, tourists are the receivers of authenticity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-73
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Travel Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Authenticity flow
  • Marketing system
  • Producers
  • Scottish merchandise
  • Suppliers
  • Tourists
  • Vendors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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