Understanding Experiential Authenticity through the Best Tourism Places

Alan A. Lew

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


How do we define the 'best tourism places'? Based on presentations in a 'Pecha-Kucha'-style panel presentation on the 'Best Tourism Places' at the annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers (2011), it was evident that the definition of 'best' is grounded primarily in existential authenticity. The deepest experiences of existential authenticity came from examples that included physical challenges and sensory stimulation. Touristic communitas was also significant in defining many of the best tourism places, though sometimes having no tourists can make a place special. A review of 'best places' lists leads to conclusions that there are two types of best tourism places based on objective measures and experientially defined. Tourism places and researchers both need to be aware of the role that these two different understandings of place present.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)570-575
Number of pages6
JournalTourism Geographies
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2011


  • Existential authenticity
  • conference report
  • geography research
  • pecha-kucha
  • tourism experience
  • tourism research
  • touristic communitas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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