Cultural authenticity in sport events: The case of the Dragon Boat Races
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The use of cultural events continues to grow as a destination marketing and promotion strategy with destinations eager to broaden attraction attributes. One such cultural event is the Dragon Boat Festival, transforming from what was a traditional private Taoist ceremony surrounded in ritual and social identity within local Chinese fishing villages, to an international racing phenomenon, hosted annually in several major cities and locations. With this use of cultural events is the paradox that their increasing popularity can also take away from the authentic experience, becoming more 'staged' as performances for visitors. This research explores the level of participants' motives and perceptions towards the events at the International Dragon Boat Festivals in Macao, China, the event's cultural origin, and Melbourne a location where dragon boating has been successfully staged, revealing that the participants' opinions can differ depending on their culture of origins. This will have implications on the cultural sustainability of the event as a destination tourism attraction, given the importance of the historical and ritual legacy of dragon boating as its unique promotional attribute.