Integrating Authenticity, Well-being, and Memorability in Heritage Tourism: A Two-Site Investigation

Xiaoli Yi, Xiaoxiao Fu, Vera Shanshan Lin, Honggen Xiao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Authenticity, well-being, and memorability are essential to understanding tourist experience, yet little is known about the mechanism underlying these interrelated concepts. This study explores how tourists’ perceived authenticity influences memorability through their existential authenticity and well-being in the context of heritage tourism. Using data from visitors to two world heritage sites in China (West Lake and Lijiang), the effects of existential authenticity on tourists’ psychological and subjective well-being are empirically tested. Findings from cross-regional surveys reveal that existential authenticity, triggered by tourists’ perceived authenticity of local cultural heritage, is significantly associated with memorability and psychological and subjective well-being. Results further show that perceived authenticity of local cultural heritage contributes to memorability through existential authenticity and well-being. Elucidation of these conceptual relationships has theoretical and practical implications for heritage tourism studies and management.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Travel Research
Early online date2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2021


  • existential authenticity
  • memorability
  • perceived authenticity
  • psychological well-being
  • subjective well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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