The Role of Cultural Products in Authentic African “Eatertainment”

Muchazondida Mkono, Southern Cross University, published “Using Net-Based Ethnography (Netnography) to Understand the Staging and Marketing of ”Authentic African” Dining Experiences to Tourists at Victoria Falls” on January 4th, 2012 in the Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research. To view other OnlineFirst articles, please click here. Ms. Mkono kindly provided the following responses to her article.

Who is the target audience for this article?

Academics interested in cultural tourism research, cultural hospitality practitioners (owners/managers of cultural hospitality enterprises e.g ethnic concept restaurants), cultural tourism and hospitality marketers, researchers interested in web-based research methods, qualitative researchers.

What inspired you to be interested in this topic?

My previous work experience in Victoria Falls, and my current PhD, which investigates authenticity of cultural eatertainment experiences in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

Were there findings that were surprising to you?

I was surprised to find that tourists were so gullible- they were quick to ascribe authentic status to toured objects.

How do you see this study influencing future research and/or practice?

This study illustrates how the Internet has become an important (virtual) fieldwork site, which can yield interesting insights through qualitative/interpretive analysis. How does this study fit into your body of work/line of research?

As stated above, this article is part of my ongoing PhD work. It lays the foundation for my fieldwork in Victoria Falls, scheduled for October 2011 to March 2012.

How did your paper change during the review process?

After review, the methodological contribution of the paper (the use of net-based methods i.e netnography) became more important.

What, if anything, would you do differently if you could go back and do this study again?

In future, I would try to use a larger sample. However, as this was an exploratory article, I feel that it fulfilled its purpose.

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