Authenticity & Tourism: Volume 24

Cover of Authenticity & Tourism

Materialities, Perceptions, Experiences

Subject:

Table of contents

(20 chapters)

Prelims

Pages i-xvi
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Marketing Maneuvers

Abstract

This chapter presents two cases in which the coupling between products and destinations generates distinct variations of possibilities for on-site consumption of mythologies of product implacement. Product–place dyads represent significant enabling potential to convey experiential authenticity in the form of enacted narratives, which are in turn based on product myths and the role of a place on the continuum of a productionscape–consumptionscape. Through the illustrative use of cases, a symbolic order of product geography is revealed. Destinations that leverage product associations are invariably engaged in a struggle to claim symbolic authority produce an authentic product–origin narrative. This chapter bridges critical tourism and international marketing literatures and proposes product geography as the mythomoteur of worldmaking.

Abstract

Iran is considered an emerging destination that remains largely under-toured, even as the recent lifting of strict economic sanctions and new international agreements is making it easier to obtain a visa-on-arrival. The Facebook page “See You in Iran” is used to promote the destination and communicate the “real” image of Iran (with numerous updates daily), with semblances of authenticity portrayed through user-generated content (UGC). UGC allows people to post and explore new places, and to interact with those who have just visited. This chapter assesses UGC using an interpretative framework: authentic inquiry (the need for unknown insight into a new awareness), authentic encounter (through relationships, connections, communitas, and belonging), and authentic production (based on feelings, emotions, and sensations).

Abstract

This chapter discusses concepts from and research about experiential marketing and place branding to provide insights for authenticity studies in tourism. In order to offer a practical perspective, an empirical study was undertaken at a cacao farm in the Brazilian state of Bahia. The locality is known historically for its cacao production, but due to Vassoura-de-Bruxa (witch’s broom) plague diagnosed in 1989, local farmers saw their crops fail and thus sought other alternatives to secure the sustainability of their businesses. Tourism was one of these options. The chapter analyzes the authenticity of tourism experiences and the role marketing plays in this process.

Cultural (Mis)Interpretations

Abstract

In Verona, Italy, one site attracts global tourist interest: the courtyard and balcony made famous in Shakespeare’s tragic play Romeo and Juliet. There is a collision of fact and fantasy in declaring this site to be the one in the famous play. More importantly, the contemporary space labeled as Juliet’s balcony is a commercial tourism hub, attracting a truly diverse international audience who are arguably at least intrigued by the potential for contact with a site embodying love and a tragic romance. Using the time tourists spent at the site as an organizer, combined with TripAdvisor ratings, the researchers revealed how authenticity was variously rejected, redefined, and constructed through the tourists’ behavior.

Abstract

Approximately 70 years ago, descendants of Trinidadian enslaved Africans created an instrument from steel drums discarded by the US Navy. Since then, the steelpan has attracted entrepreneurs from around the world because of its unique sound, and, as the quintessential instrument for the pre-Lenten Trinidad Carnival, it also entices tourists. Its production did not stay under the “breadfruit tree”; however, as they are now mass produced and even patented abroad. Some argue this amounts to cultural piracy, as the steelpan is more than an artifact but is the mentifactual property of a people. Thus, the question remains whether the authenticity of the steelpan is lost when not crafted within the landscape of Trinidad.

Abstract

This chapter focuses on the territory of Schist Villages Network, located in Central Portugal, which has become the target of sustainable development projects. These projects aim at conservation of natural and cultural landscapes, the valorization of heritage, boosting of socioeconomic parameters, and promotion of excellence in tourism with emphasis on hospitality. Empirical research applied different questionnaires to four stakeholders: local population, local decisionmakers, economic agents, and tourists and visitors. The data obtained were used to analyze stakeholders’ perceptions of cultural heritage and traditional roots, seen as essential elements of the territory’s authenticity, both from the point of view of tourism motivation and satisfaction with lived experiences, as well as to evaluate their loyalty to and image of the network as a destination.

Technological Interventions

Abstract

This chapter explores notions of authenticity in terms of the photographs taken by tourists while on holiday. Some tourists photograph attributes of the host’s culture that they perceive as “authentic”, while ignoring, editing, or erasing aspects that conflict with their “imagined” views. Drawing upon methods of participant-informed photo-ethnography used in a study of US tourists’ holiday photographs of Ireland, tourists will be resituated in this chapter as “editors” in their own photographic reproductions of place. Moreover, by focusing attention to how they confer meaning on destinations and the people who live in them, through the embodied performance of photography, this chapter explores tourists’ notions of authenticity.

Abstract

Selling food tourism experiences can be a successful marketing tool that creates positive gastronomic memories. To determine how gastronomic memories are created, this study conducted interviews with participants using auto-driven photo-elicitation, the process of which explored trigger points with both tangible and intangible attributes. A focus group was also held where an avant-garde meal was served to “foodies” as a means of food-elicitation technique. This chapter examines the ways authenticity was presented in the narratives of the participants, and how authenticity played a role in their creation of participants’ memorable gastronomic experiences. The chapter questions if these “foodies” are taking away the mystique from dining-out by over analyzing the product.

Abstract

Mass-market production of souvenirs, their disposability and their mixed up, interpretive styling may detach the tourist from the actual experience. Conversely, it is the personal relationship that is formed between the tourist and the souvenir that makes the object authentic. The personalization of souvenirs, through 3D printing, offers opportunities for a different approach to manufacturing that influences notions of authenticity. In this way, it is possible to escape the serial reproduction of culture, engage tourists in the creation of meaning, and (re)frame the connections among them, their visited places, and their souvenirs. This chapter considers how the personalization of souvenirs through 3D printing technologies challenges and redefines existing notions of authenticity in touristic consumption.

Abstract

This chapter explores the multiple levels of authenticity involved in son et lumière and projection mapping. Light shows are increasingly staged at historic sites, using monumental buildings as canvases. The use of light allows the buildings to communicate, giving them a performative, additional dimension, generating multiplicity, where the same architectural structure or place is encountered simultaneously in both its light and physical forms. The effect is hyperreal, transforming buildings into simulacra, versions of distorted reality, where no original exists. As the building appears to move, the mind simultaneously informs the viewer that it is static, evoking a co-created tourist experience. Light shows, arguably staged by “imagineers”, reflect the increasing move toward the spectacle essential for creative and experience economies.

Theoretical Inquiries

Abstract

Building on past debates and incorporating recent knowledge on the revised principles and definition of ecotourism as set out by the Global Ecotourism Network and The International Ecotourism Society, this chapter assesses consumptive activities, such as hunting and fishing, through a lens of authenticity. This examination of ecotourism extends to tourists’ predispositions, ethics, and motivations responsible for their choices of ecotourism destinations, activities, and observable behaviors, which often lead them to personal transformation. As the idea of authenticity gains momentum in marketing, certifications, and regulations, this chapter tackles its significance by drawing from literature on applied constructs such as Ecotourist Predisposition Scale and Ecotourist Ethics Scale, as well as fieldwork experience and research pointing to the historical roots of ecotourism philosophy and practice in Zambia.

Abstract

This chapter focuses on the authentication of wilderness and the mechanisms of power and agency through which the wilderness has come to assume its patina of authenticity, often associated with masculinity, challenge, self-(re)creation, pristine landscapes, and, perhaps above all, authenticity. Rather than examining the concept of authenticity, this chapter focuses on its process; using notions of “hot” and “cool” authentication, it attends to the ways individuals and groups navigate social terrain through discourse and performance to construct authenticity in wilderness landscapes. It examines the various mechanisms through which authenticity in wilderness is constructed, measured, and assessed, attending to the “hot” and “cool” authentication of the American wilderness.

Abstract

As tourism numbers continue to explode globally due to burgeoning middle class incomes in Asia as well as continually more fluid international communication technologies and transport, tourism scholars scramble to keep up with outmoded theory grounded in Western continental philosophy. A Western “traveler” often considers her/himself elite and even superior to mass tourists. “Travelers” seek alternative experiences in authentic spaces. In an effort to understand this market, tourism scholars have spent almost half of a century defining and characterizing the pursuit of authenticity; yet this scholarship has been homogeneously Western. In this chapter, we take a giant step back to question what provokes Western tourists to seek authenticity – and puzzle those who do not.

References

Pages 261-315
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Index

Pages 327-338
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Cover of Authenticity & Tourism
DOI
10.1108/S1571-5043201824
Publication date
2018-09-14
Book series
Tourism Social Science Series
Editors
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-78754-817-6
eISBN
978-1-78754-816-9
Book series ISSN
1571-5043