The role of authenticity in tourism planning: empirical findings from southeast Spain

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Title: The role of authenticity in tourism planning: empirical findings from southeast Spain
Authors: Mantecón, Alejandro | Huete, Raquel
Research Group/s: Grupo de Investigación en Planificación y Gestión Sostenible del Turismo | Programa de Investigación Integral en Pensamiento Sociológico y Ciencia | Población, Medio Ambiente y Desarrollo (POMADE)
Center, Department or Service: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Sociología I
Keywords: Authenticity | Qualitative research | Sociology | In-depth interviews | Residential tourism | Spain
Knowledge Area: Sociología
Issue Date: 2007
Publisher: Institute for Tourism (Zagreb)
Citation: MANTECÓN, Alejandro; HUETE, Raquel. “The role of authenticity in tourism planning: empirical findings from southeast Spain”. Tourism. Vol. 55, No. 3 (2007). ISSN 1332-7461, pp. 323-333
Abstract: Tourism is the main economic activity in many towns in the province of Alicante in southeast Spain and has turned this area into a paradigmatic example of mass tourism on the Mediterranean coast. Since the 1960s, the province's coastal towns have opted for a development model centred on what is known as 'residential tourism' or 'second-home tourism', with few exceptions, such as Benidorm. We wish to put forward the argument that the main social agents in the tourism sector have not perceived the 'search for authenticity' as a factor that may attract tourists to this area. To this end, we will start by reviewing critically the theoretical discourse about the role played by authenticity in the motivation of tourists. Then we will discuss some of the results obtained from empirical, qualitative research that included 37 in-depth interviews. As a guide for our empirical research, we use a model based on the stakeholder theory. The epistemological difficulties faced by researchers do not justify certain critical arguments that try to highlight the impossibility of operationalising essential concepts and approaches such as that of authenticity. Therefore, it is necessary that empirical research continues to delve into the sociological keys that determine the 'search for authenticity' in the tourists' experience.
Sponsor: The results presented here are part of two research projects funded by the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science: ‘Overseas residential tourism in Alicante’ (2002-2005) and ‘Legitimation problems of residential tourism: action proposals from an analysis of social perception’ (2006-2009).
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10045/20467
ISSN: 1332-7461
Language: eng
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Peer Review: si
Appears in Collections:INV - PGST - Artículos de Revistas
INV - PIIPSC - Artículos de Revistas

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