Authenticity of Ethnic Tourism: Ethnic Villages in Sichuan

Hu, WenTian
Bremner, Hamish
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Master of International Tourism Management
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Auckland University of Technology

Ethnic tourism provides ethnic minority residents with an opportunity to display their culture, customs and heritage, but has also caused a series of controversies. The concept of authenticity has been a focus of discussion by tourism researchers. Tourists pursue the pleasure of tourism on the basis of authenticity in ethnic tourism, and hope that what they feel in an ethnic tourism destination is the existence of real culture. However, in the actual development of national tourism, excessive commercialisation will affect the authenticity of tourism. Therefore, only by thinking about “authenticity” can ethnic tourism developers find a balance between commercialisation and the protection of national culture.

Taking minority villages in Sichuan as an example, this dissertation explores the development and protection of ethnic tourism based on authenticity. Firstly, this dissertation summarises the current situation of authenticity studies of ethnic tourism, and then explains the related concepts and theories. Based on the summary and related theories, this dissertation takes Jiuzhaigou Tibetan Village and Taoping Qiang Village as examples in an analysis and exploration of the authenticity of ethnic cultural tourists’ experience.

In the study of authenticity of national culture, this dissertation interprets the authenticity of national culture of minority villages in Sichuan in three aspects: material culture, behavioural culture and spiritual culture. In the study of the authenticity of the tourist experience, based on secondary data, the authenticity of the experience and the satisfaction of tourists are analysed, and the influence of different ethnic cultures on the tourist experience is discussed. The significance of authenticity to the protection of ethnic cultures and tourism development is confirmed.

Tourism , Authenticity , China , Ethnic village , Sichuan
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