Can a Trip Ever Be ‘Authentic’?


“Tour Companies aspire to introduce us to what isn’t ordinary, to what can’t be found back home, to what is in fact as far from the everyday lives of locals as possible. When we settle into our $500-a-night suite in a Taj hotel, surrounded by oil lamps and bangled dancers, the room glittering with tiny mirrors, we couldn’t be further from the ‘‘real India’’ outside, which struggles to get by on $1 a day. Our backpacking kids scorn us for our distance from real life as they settle into a fleapit in Old Delhi, a ‘‘real India’’ compounded of bedbugs and stomach cramps and equally ‘‘authentic’’ travelers from Düsseldorf and Malmo.

The ‘‘reality’’ we crave, in short, is itself a fantasy.”

Source: Can a Trip Ever Be ‘Authentic’? – The New York Times

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith is the editor and co-founder of Travindy. He is a writer and communications consultant working for a more responsible and sustainable tourism industry. He is the author of two books, writes a fortnightly blog on responsible tourism for World Travel Market, and provides consultancy to a wide range of companies and organisations, ranging from National Parks to individual hotels and tour operators.

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