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Authentic Travel - We All Seek it, but Definitions Differ.

Travel as a global phenomenon has enjoyed an almost exponential growth indecent times. We are able to journey to almost anywhere in the world and can enjoy a variety of forms of travel depending on our individual preferences. While it could be said that tourism and hospitality are orchestrated or choreographed to suit a business agenda, this is disingenuous to tourists. For both tourists and host destinations, tourism and travel are a continuum between two polar opposites.

Increasingly, experiencing Authentic Travel is an important attribute to any travel undertaken, but where our expectations lie on the spectrum between being a "mass tourist" or a "venturer", is very much an individual characteristic.

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The Spectrum of Traveller Types "Mass Tourists" and "Venturers".


At one end of the continuum lies the ‘mass tourist’, those that want to get away, relax, and enjoy a time-out from life. A multitude of resorts, hotels and cruise liners have weaved themselves into a variety of forms and configurations to appeal to all quirks and tastes. Destinations, have re-invented themselves to be more attractive to the masses, and increase the money coming into their region, and their profitability as a consequence.

At the other end of the spectrum lies the ’venturers’, those that wish to go where no man has gone before, and who consider themselves to be modern-day explorers. By their very nature, their numbers are small, hunting out those places that few travellers have been too. Host communities provide for venturers by providing small alternative styled accommodation which is often rudimentary and guiding facilities that caters for more individual interaction. Venturers cane extreme inter attitude towards destinations, refusing to spend time anywhere that even hints of commercialism.

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A Stand for Authenticity Rather than Staged Destinations.


Increasingly, there is an increasing band within the tourism continuum that stands for authenticity within the industry. The expression that the world has become smaller has never been truer thanks largely to the massive advances in transportation and in particular Air transportation. Not only has flying become easier for the average person to access, but the development of tourists hubs has lead to increased capacity through bigger planes and increased flight frequency. Not only that but an increase in regional capability has enabled tourists to penetrate into remote global regions that were impossible even a few years ago. This has enabled those travellers that wish to see relatively unstaged shows, view life as it is actually lived in different countries ‘warts and all’, and to interact and participate with locals along the way. For locals, there is the opportunity for them to choose to involve themselves with travellers, how to involve themselves and to present themselves in a way that allows them to be in charge of how their destination is presented to tourists.

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What Are the Ingredients for Authentic Travel?


So authenticity is not unidirectional, outcomes are determined by the interaction of travellers with their tourist destinations. Simply put, there are destinations that authentically portray accommodation and activities that are true their identity and the society which lives there. Similarly, there are tourists who travel authentically, those who travel to see and experience what is at a destination, not fulfil a preconceived ‘bucket list’ that has been picked out of glossy magazine. It is the combination of the two that makes for authentic travel, and it is a tenuous bond that makes it work.

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Mass Tourism.


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Venturesome Tourism


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Authenticity In Tourism


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Other Thorny Issues within Toursim and Travel.

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Tourism’s Thorny Issues :
Host/Resident Perceptions.

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Tourism | Thorny Topics :
Authenticity in Tourism.

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Tourisms Thorny Issues :
Climate Change + Natural Disasters.

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Tourism’s Thorny Issues :
Over-Tourism.

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