Riding the Thai elephant and the search for 'authenticity

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Consumers' search for authenticity is considered to be one of the underpinnings of contemporary marketing (Brown, Kozinets and Sherry, 2003) and part of a wider story about the disenchantment with aspects of current life. Tourism experiences provide one way of escaping the ordinary and experiencing alternative ways of being. Yet how can highly staged tourism experiences satisfy needs for 'authentic' travel experiences? This paper uses stories from participants at the Elephant and Mahout Training School in Northern Thailand, interpreted from differing perspectives on 'authenticity', to address this paradox and reflect on the role of the organisations that structure and facilitate tourism experiences.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication3Rs reputation, responsibility, relevance
EditorsJ. Gnoth
Place of PublicationDunedin, New Zealand
PublisherSchool of Business, University of Otago
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781877156299
Publication statusPublished - 2007
EventAustralian and New Zealand Marketing Academy (ANZMAC) Conference - Fremantle, Perth, Australia
Duration: 05 Dec 200607 Dec 2006


ConferenceAustralian and New Zealand Marketing Academy (ANZMAC) Conference

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