Experiential authenticity in heritage museums

Liuhe Jin, Honggen Xiao, Haili Shen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Museums are important heritage attractions offering authentic cultural experiences. Nevertheless, little is known about how museums create experiential authenticity for their visitors. This study aims to address this lacuna by examining how authentic experiences are achieved through museum visits. Participant observations and semi-structured interviews were combined to generate insights into museum visitors' experiential authenticity. Based on qualitative investigations, a questionnaire-based survey was applied to confirm the structure of museum visit experience. The results demonstrate that authenticity in heritage museum visitation is characteristic of emotional, original, and interactive constructs or genres, which are positively correlated to form a hybridity. Museum visitors’ experiential authenticity is evoked through material objects, demonstrations of craftsmanship, modern technology, and other forms of museum re-configuration. The paper also highlights theoretical and practical implications of this research, along with limitations for future studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100493
JournalJournal of Destination Marketing and Management
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • China
  • Cultural tourism
  • Shatin
  • Heritage museum
  • Visitor experience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management
  • Marketing


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