The role of authenticity, involvement and experience quality in heritage destinations




Authenticity, Involvement, Destination Image, Experience Quality, Satisfaction, Side (Turkey)


This research explores the impact of authenticity and involvement on destination image, aiming to comprehend visitor satisfaction, experience quality, re-patronage intentions, willingness to pay more, and word-of-mouth. Structural equation modelling was employed for analysis using data from 394 visitors to Side, Turkey. According to research findings, authenticity and involvement positively influence destination image. The findings demonstrate that developing re-patronage intentions, word-of-mouth recommendations, and willingness to pay more can be facilitated through experience quality and satisfaction. Also, it is proved that satisfaction is positively influenced by destination image. Moreover, authenticity and involvement positively influence destination image. According to research results, to increase willingness to pay, it is imperative to offer a high-quality cultural tourism experience, wherein tourists gain knowledge about the heritage destination and enjoy the experience while deeply engaging with the surroundings. Furthermore, public and private organisations should design visitor experiences that consider authenticity and involvement to enhance destination image and increase customer satisfaction.

Author Biographies

  • Abdullah Uslu, Akdeniz University, Türkiye

    Dr. Abdullah Uslu is an Associate Professor of Tourism Management at Akdeniz University. In his academic career, he has focused on tourism and hospitality management and has conducted significant research on sustainable tourism, tourism marketing, destination marketing, digital marketing, and tourist behavior. His work aims to understand residents’ attitudes their perceptions of the the economic, environmental and social impacts of tourism and to promote innovative approaches in this field.  Recently, his research interests concerned chatbots in tourism, generative artificial intelligence, and virtual tourism. In addition to his academic work, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Abdullah Uslu teaches undergraduate and graduate courses at Akdeniz University and contributes to students' successful careers in the tourism sector.

  • Nuria Recuero-Virto, Universidad Complutense de Madrid

    Nuria Recuero-Virto is currently employed as Associate Professor at Universidad Complutense de Madrid. She was awarded a PostDoctoral (2014-2018) and Predoctoral Scholarships (2010-2014). Due to this background, her specific areas of interest are: cultural tourism marketing, edtech and neuromarketing. She has received multiple academic awards of excellence, such as AIRSI2021 for Best Extended Abstract, ESIC AEDEM award for the Best Marketing Research in 2017 and she was finalist for the Award Tribuna FITUR Jorge Vila Fradera for the best doctoral thesis.

  • Ramazan Eren, Akdeniz University

    Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ramazan Eren is an academic with a Masters and Doctorate in Tourism Management from Gazi University. Throughout his career, he has carried out significant research in the field of tourism and gastronomy and has specialised in these areas. His research interests include Turkey's food image, tourism management, food and beverage industry, gastronomy and culinary arts. He is working as an associate professor at Akdeniz University Manavgat Faculty of Tourism. Dr. Eren has been involved in many international projects as a coordinator and manager and has conducted projects on topics such as digital literacy development, molecular gastronomy and communication strategies with immigrants. He has also published several books and articles on tourism and gastronomy and has gained extensive knowledge and experience in these fields.

  • Maria Francisca Blasco-López, Universidad Complutense de Madrid

    Dean of the Faculty of Commerce and Tourism of Universidad Complutense de Madrid, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences from the Complutense University of Madrid; she completed her education with a PhD in Marketing at the same University. She currently works as a Full Professor and Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Commerce and Tourism at Complutense University. She is the chief editor of Journal Cuadernos de Estudios Empresariales, associate editor of the International Academy of Management and Business Journal(IAMB) Journal and member of the scientific committee of Esic Market Journal. Her work focuses on several issues related to Data Sciences in Marketing and Tourism, Customer Behaviour, Neuromarketing, Customer Relationship Management, and Category Management, among others.


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Tourism/Hospitality: Research Papers

How to Cite

Uslu, A., Recuero-Virto, N., Eren, R. ., & Blasco-López, M. F. . (2024). The role of authenticity, involvement and experience quality in heritage destinations. Tourism & Management Studies, 20(3), 79-91.