Thanks for your feedback it is all valuable.
@MtnGal my intention is not to over analyse its trying to understand what guests mean when they say they want authentic. If it were just the functional aspects of price and facilities then we would simply not be able to compete with what we in the UK call Travellodge soul-less hotels.
@Annet3176 I worried about using the BMW mini. I own a Mini and frankly have just “upgraded” to the Countryman so I thought is was a good example, but it turns out its a bit too personal. The example that P+G use is about country music, which I guess is more suited to the US thinking. They argue that if you had a musician who was classically trained at a school to play Country, there would still be people that argue that the music was not authentic because she did not come from (insert a place in the US where country music is authentic). The point is that she could NEVER be considered authentic by some because of her heritage.
I was trying to use examples that were close to what we hosts could be doing. Ie we provide accommodation with a tourist related experience.
My thinking from what you are saying is adapting…
My argument is that most hosts think that to be genuinely authentic they have an Airbnb that is what it says it is (a tobacco barn) AND have it located in the smokey mountains.
But look at the Globe theatre in London the original was built in 1599 but it burned down in 1613. So another one was built but this one was closed in 1642. The one in the photo was actually built in 1997 a FAKE!
However, because the business operating it is true to itself it pulls off the feeling of authenticity.
So it follows that if Italy is your “thing” you could totally recreate an Italian Villa in Texas… or say the Nevada dessert, Las Vegas.
The trick that Vegas generally have is that they are totally upfront about what they are “faking”… unlike the London Dungeon that I use in the essay. The Dungeon has a successful business of sorts, but its my guess that they struggle more to attract people than the London Tombs, The Globe Theatre or the Bloomsbury Pub. That’s because in the modern era, people take to social media the moment that the thing they have been sold is considered Fake.
I’ve heard of people theming their Airbnb as a Star Wars, Marvel, Punk music. I think that this is a step in the right direction SO LONG as the people running them are TRUE to themselves ie they are Star Wars, Marvel, Doctor Who, fans. If they aren’t then the stuff they exhibit needs to be official relics otherwise it will be considered an in-authentic hustle (FAKE:FAKE).