Discuss the significance of authenticity in cultural tourism through provision and experience.
Abstract: Throughout this essay I have discussed that authenticity is relative and not absolute. The significance of authenticity within cultural tourism lies only with the experience of the travelling tourist and their individual desires. Within this essay I have broken down the different elements within cultural tourism and authenticity to help support my argument, which is clearly stated above: authenticity is merely subjective not objective.
What defines authenticity and why do we question the variety of views of authenticity? Is there a correct answer or is it just based on conceptual studies? It has been one of the biggest debated studies in tourism for decades and it continues to this very day. Authenticity is a familiar word but not a very stable concept, especially within tourism literature. There have been many studies about different concepts defining the meaning of authenticity; however, in this essay I’m aiming at the clarification of the meanings in the experiences of tourism rather than the conceptual studies. Existential authenticity is an alternative concept in cultural tourism, despite whether the toured objects are considered authentic. This concept proves and supports the explanation of tourism experience and motivation. Throughout this essay I’m going to break down existential authenticity into two different outlooks: intra-personal and inter-personal; also touching on cultural tourism and its significance. Authenticity is now something that is being widely used, which is increasing various limitations. However, concepts of authenticity cannot begin to explain the experiences nor inspiration of the tourist. Events such as visiting friends and family, beach vacations, city breaks, visiting Disneyland, and personal interests such as shopping, hunting, sports, and many more, have nothing to do with authenticity in the slightest. Authenticity may be relevant when it comes to historic or cultural tourism, but then you begin to question the significance because of the variety of concepts that have been considered in various studies. Throughout the duration of this essay existential authenticity will be clarified and then further discussed into the two different views: intra-personal and inter-personal authenticity within cultural tourism.
2. Cultural Tourism:
Cultural tourism is made up of different ways of living, such as, many religions, unique artwork, and many other elements to shape a specific way of life. Cultural tourism has been defined as 'the movement of persons to cultural attractions away from their normal place of residence, with the intention to gather new information and experiences to satisfy their cultural needs’ (Richards, G. (1996)). Culture is a very subjective term that is so diverse it doesn’t have just one meaning but several. Satisfying tourists has a lot to do with the culture that the specific destination holds, and because of that authenticity is attained. Tourists don’t just go for the cultural heritage found within the destination, and also the cultural environment that they experience whilst visiting. An escape to another world is to experience the way of living from a cultural and authentic point of view. Due to how much tourism has grown over the last few decades, and traveling has become much more popular, city councils and government are trying to make their destination one that a tourist would dream to travel too because of the cultural and heritage tourism that lies within the city. However, they’ve found a way to make money out of traveling tourists, due to the experiences desired and certain sights seen in a specific destination. For example: Edinburgh is one of Scotland’s most historic cities and people yearn for the experience to see the historic city and its most famous castle. The Edinburgh city council has decided to charge a fee of £13 to...
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