‘Authentic but not too much’: exploring perceptions of authenticity of virtual tourism

Paolo Mura*, Rokhshad Tavakoli, Saeed Pahlevan Sharif

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Citations (Scopus)


Virtual tourism and authenticity are concepts amply discussed by tourism scholars. Yet, limited empirical studies have explored perceptions of authenticity of virtual tourism. This paper attempts to fill this gap existing in the body of knowledge as it provides an insight into perceptions of virtual tourism and authenticity. Driven by an interpretivist paradigm, twenty in-depth, online interviews were conducted with a group of tourism students studying in a Malaysian private university. The findings show that while virtual tourism was not perceived as totally inauthentic, the participants conceived corporeal and sensorial involvements as crucial components to experience authenticity in tourism settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-159
Number of pages15
JournalInformation Technology and Tourism
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Authenticity
  • Qualitative research
  • Tourist behavior
  • Virtual tourism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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