Back to the past: A sub-segment of Generation Y's perceptions of authenticity

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66 Scopus citations


To date, authenticity conceptualizations have taken into account the views of both suppliers and tourists. However, most studies, at the a priori stage, have not taken a market segment perspective but considered tourists to be a homogeneous population. This study challenges that by focusing on a distinct market segment based on age and life experience: Generation Y, drawing out an a priori-based sub-segment of Generation Y's perspectives of authenticity. It investigates if authenticity ideologies influence decisions to become a heritage tourist. Additionally, it determines other factors that predict differences between a heritage tourist and a non-heritage tourist. The study unveils interesting findings. With the exception of the objectivist and negotiation stance, other authenticity ideologies fail to inspire this generation to be heritage tourists. Intervention factors such as party size (and with it a social experience) and ethnicity prove to be better predictors of heritage preference. The results offer important implications for the heritage industry. For instance, "time travel" demand based on purely objective or negotiated versions can help promote conservation efforts and the sustainable development of heritage. This can lead to enhanced opportunities for partnership between the tourism industry and cultural/heritage site managers, and help revive discontinued or forgotten traditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)793-809
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Sustainable Tourism
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 2010


  • Authenticity
  • Commodification
  • Cultural tourism
  • Heritage tourism
  • Market segmentation
  • Tourist motivation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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