Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Hospitality and Tourism Management

First Advisor

Jonathon Day

Committee Chair

Jonathon Day

Committee Member 1

Howard Adler

Committee Member 2

Liping Cai


The present study examined visitors' perceptions of authenticity at the South Luogu Alley, a famous Hutong with more than a 700-year history in Beijing. The reconstruction of many historical heritage sites raises the issue about authenticity in tourism. After reconstruction, many Hutongs combined with traditional Chinese style and Western style in terms of architectural design, restaurants, tourism souvenirs, and activities. However, visitors' perceptions toward authenticity at Hutongs continue to be mostly unknown. The study applied a self-administered questionnaire to collect the data from July, 2012 to August, 2012 at the South Luogu Alley. Visitors were asked to rate the authenticity of many aspects of the South Luogu Alley on a Likert-scale and to provide basic demographic information and motivations. The research defined the specific group of visitors at Hutongs as "Hutonger", which are mostly local young visitors with a higher education. Also visitors at Hutongs are divided into four types based on motivations: casual visitors, authenticity seekers, pure escapees, and entertainment seekers. Important differences in perceived authenticity were determined based on different demographic factors of visitors, such as age and education. Older visitors and visitors with higher education tended to perceive non-traditional aspects as less authentic. The research also revealed that the main motivation for visitors at the Hutongs is relaxation and motivations influence visitors' requirements for authenticity at the Hutongs.