Services reliant on revenue generated from tourism are often beholden to how authentic visitors perceive their offering to be. From a managerial perspective, this is exacerbated when they serve a dual-purpose, as both actively ingrained in local culture and as showcased international tourist attractions. As such, this study contributes to Kolar and Žabkar's (2010) consumer-based model of authenticity by assessing the relationships between serious leisure, object-based and existential authenticity, and visitor word-of-mouth recommendations in Iranian cultural tourism. Utilising PLS-SEM, and drawing upon responses from 615 visitors to the Tabriz Grand Bazaar, it thus extends the model's applicability to the developing Middle-Eastern context. The results extend extant research by emphasizing the importance of object-based authenticity, as opposed to existential authenticity, in stimulating positive visitor word-of-mouth recommendations. Consequently, this study advances the prevailing understanding of the role of authenticity in stimulating positive behavioural intentions by highlighting how destinations can stimulate visitor recommendations.
- serious leisure