Authenticating eco-cultural tourism in Kazakhstan: a supply side perspective

Tiberghien, G. , Bremner, H. and Milne, S. (2018) Authenticating eco-cultural tourism in Kazakhstan: a supply side perspective. Journal of Ecotourism, 17(3), pp. 306-319. (doi: 10.1080/14724049.2018.1502507)

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The country of Kazakhstan is not a well-known tourism destination, either globally or within Central Asia. Although the number of inbound tourists remains relatively small, Kazakhstan possesses numerous tourism attractions based on its past Soviet times, nomadic culture and a variety of unique landscapes. This paper presents the findings that focus on the perceptions of authenticity of tourism providers involved in the development of two Kazakhstani eco-cultural tours. Empirical research is based on in-depth semi-structured interviews conducted between August 2011 and May 2012 which were carried out with community members, policymakers and tourism developers. Using a qualitative case study research approach, the analysis of data identifies tourism providers’ authentication positions on various themes and indicators of authenticity for Kazakhstani eco-cultural tourism. Several topic areas including the geographical imagination (nomadic cultural landscapes), crafts purchased by tourists (nomadic ethnic art), and performative spaces (nomadic home-stays and nomadic food) are identified as sources of authentic tourism experiences for visitors. For each topic area, various stakeholders’ perceptions of authenticity are presented. The article examines various aspects of the commodification of nomadic culture in a post-Soviet heritage and details the role authenticity plays in the planning and development of Kazakhstani tourism and local community participation and empowerment.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Tiberghien, Dr Guillaume
Authors: Tiberghien, G., Bremner, H., and Milne, S.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Interdisciplinary Studies
Journal Name:Journal of Ecotourism
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):1747-7638
Published Online:23 July 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
First Published:First published in Journal of Ecotourism 17(3):306-319
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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