chapter  3
26 Pages

AUTHENTICITY AND ECOCULTURAL TOURISM DEVELOPMENT IN KAZAKHSTAN: POTENTIAL AND CHALLENGES

Introduction ............................................................................................. 42 Authenticity Concepts and Definitions ................................................... 43 Ecocultural Tourism, Country Branding and Sense of Place in Kazakhstan .............................................................................................. 47 Authenticity and Sustainable Ecocultural Tourism Development in Kazakhstan .................................................................. 49 ‘Kyzylarai’ Ecocultural Tour, Central Kazakhstan ................................. 51 Research Methodology ........................................................................... 52 Research Findings ................................................................................... 53 Stakeholder’s Perception of Authenticity as a Marketing Tool for Ecocultural Tourism Attractions and Destinations ............................ 56 Stakeholder’s Perceptions of Authenticity to Enhance Sustainable Ecocultural Product Development ....................................... 58 Conclusion .............................................................................................. 60 Keywords ................................................................................................ 61 References ............................................................................................... 61

INTRODUCTION

The question of authenticity is central to much literature on cultural heritage and tourism development (Chhabra, 2005; Cohen, 1988; Kolar and Zabkar, 2010; Reisinger and Steiner, 2006; Wang, 2000). As tourism grows the authentic undergoes change via a process of commodification evolving into new forms of cultural expression that engage both the tourist and the local community in a newly globalized form of culture (Prideaux and Timothy, 2008). The attribute ‘authentic’ “is usually given to something that is genuine and original, that can be certified by evidence, or remains true to a tradition” (Smith and Duffy, 2003, p. 14). Whereas the tourism industry tends to provide its own definitions of the traditional or typical, it is thus important to assess various stakeholders’ perceptions of authenticity of ecocultural tourism practices as they tend to be negotiated through what is locally perceived as authentic and what tourists and developers view as key travel experiences (Smith and Duffy, 2003).