Beyond authenticity and commodification
Cole, S. (2007) Beyond authenticity and commodification. Annals of Tourism Research, 34 (4). pp. 943-960. ISSN 0160-7383
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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.annals.2007.05.004
Authenticity and commodification are central to academic debates in tourism. Previous analyses suggest that the commodification of local identities leads to negative consequences. Based on a long-term study of tourism in Eastern Indonesia, this paper examines authenticity from three perspectives: the government, the tourists and the villagers. While the former two perspectives reflect the views highlighted in the literature, the villagers' interpretation is different: tourism brings not only a sense of pride and identity but also a political resource to manipulate. Seen in this light, this paper suggests that the debates about authenticity should examine how the notion is articulated, by whom and for what purposes; and in what circumstances, cultural tourism leads to positive responses and empowerment. Keywords: authenticity, commodification, Indonesia, empowerment.
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