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Tourism geographies and the place of authenticity

Rickly, Jillian



Along with the earliest theories of tourism arose an interest in understanding the role of authenticity. These burgeoning efforts were based in history, anthropology, and sociology (see Boorstin, 1961; MacCannell, 1973, 1976; Cohen, 1979); yet, the subsequent infusion of geographical perspectives that spatialize authenticity have greatly enriched our conceptualizations. Indeed, these scholars were invaluable in laying the foundations of key aspects of authenticity – Boorstin (1961) in asserting tourism is comprised of pseudo-events drew attention to staged aspects of tourism encounters, MacCannell (1973; 1976) explicated the mechanisms through which staging occurs and initiated a discussion of the socio-cultural significance of authenticity, which Cohen (1979) then refined by elaborating on the various ways authenticity comes into play in tourists’ motivation for recreational, diversionary, experiential, experimental, and existential experiences. However, what these contributions were lacking was attention to the geographical, that tourism is simultaneously a mobilities and a placed-based phenomenon, and as such the roles of scale, mobilities, space, place, and landscape are crucial to experiences of authenticity.


Rickly, J. (2018). Tourism geographies and the place of authenticity. Tourism Geographies, 20(4), 734-737.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 10, 2018
Online Publication Date Jul 11, 2018
Publication Date Jul 11, 2018
Deposit Date Aug 29, 2018
Publicly Available Date Jan 12, 2020
Journal Tourism Geographies
Print ISSN 1461-6688
Electronic ISSN 1470-1340
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 20
Issue 4
Pages 734-737
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Tourism Geographies on 11/07/2018, available online:


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