It is nearly always implicitly assumed that authenticity is a positive trait, as opposed to the fake or the plastic. As opposed to allegedly positive authenticity, negative authenticity is something that is authentic but which tourists and residents consider not valuable enough to be preserved. However, researchers rarely pay attention to it, and there remains a lack of theoretical recognition and in-depth understanding of it. Using the case of China's ancient towns of Zhouzhuang and Tongli, this article aims to empirically verify negative authenticity and validate its dimensions on the consensus of tourists and residents through a mixed-method design. Based on interviews, this paper further analyzed the formation mechanism of negative authenticity. We found that the values of modern civilisation play a key role in the constructive process of negative authenticity. The findings further clarify the position of negative authenticity in the theoretical system and indicate its application value.
Tourism Management – Elsevier
Published: Aug 1, 2018
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