4.3.3. Confirmatory Factor Analysis
EFA aims to identify the structure of the scale and establish the construct validity of the questionnaire. Conversely, confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) determines whether the factor structure model and corresponding analysis data are in agreement [50
]. Based on the factor structure determined by EFA in the pre-survey, IBM SPSS Amos 23.0 was used to carry out CFA for the latent variables. Among them, cultural identity, constructive authenticity, and existential authenticity had distinct structural differences. Satisfaction and loyalty were two latent variables with a uniform internal structure and less observational variations. Thus, CFA was only applied to the first three variables. Second-order CFA was used because the first analysis indicated a moderate to high correlation in the first-order factor constructs. Thus, the factor analysis model could be adapted to the sample data [50
According to Wu, cultural identity is composed of three dimensions, namely, cultural cognition, cultural emotion, and cultural behavioral intention, comprising 11 items of measurement [50
]. Construct authenticity comprises three dimensions, namely, environmental, product, and activity authenticities, including 10 measurement items. Existential authenticity has three dimensions, namely, self-worth, tourism experience, and authenticity of interpersonal communication, containing 10 measurement items. After CFA, the model constructed by the three latent variables displayed good intrinsic quality, and the measurement indicators effectively reflected the common factor concept.
4.3.4. Structural Equation Model Analysis
The proposed structural equation model (SEM) included structural and measurement models in which the former required the determination of the relationship between the latent and associated variables in advance. The structural model pertained to latent variables, which contained five elements, namely, cultural identity, constructive authenticity, existential authenticity, satisfaction, and loyalty. The relationship and role of each latent variable were marked for further verification. In SEM analysis, various latent variables can be used to measure items, such as cultural identity, constructive authenticity, and existential authenticity. The item can then be packaged into a new variable in the scale to reduce the structural equation complexity and to facilitate analysis [51
]. Therefore, according to the factor analysis results of each relevant scale, the items for cultural identity, constructive authenticity, and existential authenticity were packaged as new variables in the SEM. Figure 4
displays the initial SEM, in which TS1-TS3 represent the measurement items of tourist satisfaction and DL1-DL4 represent the measurement items of destination loyalty.
The IBM SPSS Amos 23.0 software calculated the fitness indexes of the model: the χ2/df value was 2.126, which is less than the standard value of 3. Values for Adjusted Goodness of Fit Index (AGFI), Goodness of Fit Index (GFI), Normed Fit Index (NFI), Tucker–Lewis Index (TLI), Incremental Fit Index (IFI), and Comparative Fit Index (CFI) met the standards of greater than 0.9. Standardized Root Mean Square Residual (SRMR) was 0.049, which is less than 0.05, whereas Root Mean Square Error of Approximation (RMSEA) was 0.055, which is less than 0.08. Therefore, each fitting index of the model met the general research criteria, and the model was considered to have a good fit.
The maximum likelihood method was used to estimate the parameters between the model variables. The hypothetical path “existential authenticity leads to loyalty” and “constructing authenticity to existential authenticity” showed no significant influence. To achieve a better model effect, deleting the two paths was considered to modify the model results. Two methods were employed for model modification, namely, modifying the path relationship between latent variables (i.e., deleting the non-significant path) and modifying the covariant relationship of residual terms. In general, updating the model prioritizes the path relationship between the modified latent variables, based on the principle of successive updating. That is, parameters were introduced one at a time, which sequentially resulted in deletion of the non-significant relationship paths “existential authenticity → loyalty” and “constructing authenticity → existential authenticity”. The modified model fitness was tested, and the results are provided in Table 6
. Compared with the initial model, the proposed model indicates little change and is at a relatively high level of adaptability. The model output and data matching are high, and the remaining hypothetical paths are valid.
On the basis of the final model output and the summary of model operation results, the study verified the research hypotheses and obtained the analysis results (Table 6
and Table 6
show that all hypotheses are supported except for H3c and H4. Cultural identity has a significant effect on authenticity perception, which positively influences tourist satisfaction; constructive authenticity perception has a significant effect on destination loyalty; existential authenticity indirectly affects loyalty through satisfaction; and tourist satisfaction has a positive effect on destination loyalty. The path coefficient in Figure 5
reflects the degree of influence. From the perspective of the path coefficient, the influence of cultural identity on constructive authenticity perception is comparable to that of existential authenticity perception, which has a slightly higher impact on tourist satisfaction than constructivism authenticity perception. This finding indicates that, in intangible cultural heritage tourism, cultural identity influences tourists’ authentic perception of destination or attractions and their self-worth. Tourists’ realization of self-worth, tourism experience, and interpersonal communication can play an active role in tourist satisfaction; a high satisfaction of tourists leads to a high level of loyalty. Apparently, objective tourist attractions are likewise crucial.
In addition, analysis reveals that the three dimensions influencing cultural identity are mainly expressed in emotions, followed by cultural behavioral intention, and cultural cognition. Among the three aspects of authenticity construction, environmental authenticity is the most apparent, while product and active authenticities play a similar role. Among the three parts of existential authenticity, self-worth has the greatest influence, whereas interpersonal communication has the smallest influence. Therefore, when developing intangible cultural heritage tourism, tourist destinations should pay attention to the cultural and emotional connection between tourists and intangible cultural heritage. Based on this connection, destinations can create the authenticity of tourism environment and realize tourists’ self-identity. In this way, the experience quality of tourists can be improved more effectively.