Do Heritage Authenticity Labels Enhance Tourism Efficiency?
Authenticity certifications act to enhance the places’ heritage, being actual territorial marketing programs that brand certain features of particular environmental, historical, and architectural value. This paper evaluates the effects of the “Italian’s Most Beautiful Places” and “Orange Flag” initiatives on the tourist efficiency of the places involved. Availing of the data envelopment analysis approach, the efficiency scores are built at the municipal level, and through a fuzzy regression discontinuity design the local average treatment effect is measured. Positive causal effects are found for both initiatives, highlighting the boosting role of authenticity labels for the visitors’ attraction.