Diaspora, authenticity and the imagined past

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Ancestral tourism in Scotland, a sector of the heritage tourism market sensitive to consumer personalisation, has particular propensities towards process-driven co-created experiences. These experiences occur within existing categories of object-based and existential notions of authenticity alongside an emergent category of the ‘authentically imagined past’. The latter of these modes reveals a complex interplay between professionally endorsed validation of the empirical veracity of objects, documents and places and the deeply held, authentically imagined, narratives of ‘home’. These narratives, built up in the Diaspora over centuries, drive new processes towards authenticity in tourism. We conducted 31 re-enactment interviews across 27 sites throughout Scotland with curators, archivists, and volunteers to explore these notions of authenticity within the ancestral tourism context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-60
Number of pages12
JournalAnnals of Tourism Research
Early online date9 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2017


  • diaspora
  • heritage
  • co-creation
  • authenticity
  • ancestry
  • Scotland


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