Authenticity in tourism theory and experience. Practically indispensable and theoretically mischievous?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The notion of authenticity arises in tourism research in two ways: In theory, as a contentious, complicated and disputed construct; empirically, as a recurrent theme in accounts of tourist experiences of place and culture and as a quality of tourists' experiences. This duality creates tension over the utility of authenticity in research and theory. We review recent literature on authenticity within tourism scholarship –and more generally– and propose a partial resolution of this tension through demystifying the concept. We do this by highlighting its embeddedness in the activity of both research and tourism. That is, we conclude that authenticity can shed its problematic dualism by understanding how it is used in theorising and the activities of tourism.


External organisations
  • Lincoln University, New Zealand
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


  • Authenticity, Embodiment, Existential authenticity, Sincerity, Theory
Original languageEnglish
Article number103208
JournalAnnals of Tourism Research
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jul
Publication categoryResearch