Safaa, Larbi & El Housni, Khalid & Bedard, Francois. (2017). Authenticity and Tourism: What TripAdvisor Reviews Reveal About Authentic Travel to Marrakech. 595-606.
Ubiquitous in commercials and tourism brochures, the term authenticity is used in a wide array of meanings ranging from objective to subjective. In an attempt to overcome this deficiency, this article aims to identify how tourists define the authenticity of a travel experience. For this, it engages in a semantic analysis of reviews posted in TripAdvisor by travelers to Marrakech and its surroundings. The platform was chosen among others due to its currently predominant role in assisting tourists and helping them share their experiences. A total of 361 reviews were collected from 160 tourism establishments—40 each of four types of establishments, being the riad guest house, hotel, restaurant, and rural guest house—selected from the ranking of the best tourism establishments proposed by TripAdvisor. The three dimensions of authenticity found in the literature—originality, singularity and identity — were then associated with the four types of tourist accommodations. The “originality” dimension proved to be strongly associated with riad guest houses, the “singularity” dimension with hotels and restaurants, and the “identity” dimension with rural guest houses.
Keywords: authenticity, Marrakech, TripAdvisor, originality, singularity, identity