Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/143840
Title: THE MOBILITIES OF WALKING TOURS AND AUTHENTICITY IN THE TOURIST EXPERIENCE
Authors: DARREN GOH CHIN TECK
Keywords: mobilities, new mobilities paradigm, tourism, authenticity, walking tour, mobile methods
Issue Date: 2017
Citation: DARREN GOH CHIN TECK (2017). THE MOBILITIES OF WALKING TOURS AND AUTHENTICITY IN THE TOURIST EXPERIENCE. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The ‘new mobilities paradigm’ sees social processes happening not in geographically fixed spaces but within movement and interconnectivity, and recognizes the emergence of new and intensified forms of mobility that are reconfiguring the practice of tourism. The increasingly popular ‘free’ tips-based tourist-oriented walking tours is a tourist activity that is intimately dependent and informed by these mobilities, and brings together networks across scales, facilitating interactions that generate authenticity in the tourist experience. This exploratory thesis thus sought to investigate how the modes of mobilities present within and constitutive of walking tours affect the perception and construction of authenticity in the tourist experience. On a walking tour of Singapore’s city centre conducted by this author, ‘walking questionnaires’ were undertaken at key points along the route. This was followed by traditional ‘static questionnaires’ at the end of the tour. Respondents were drawn from tour participants who registered for the tour online, and were mostly tourists in Singapore. Over 18 tour sessions from September to November 2016, 195 walking questionnaires and 118 static questionnaires were collected, and relevant informal conversations during the tour were also recorded. Two significant themes of mobilities in walking tours emerged: the act of walking, and the convergence of mobilities. Various modes of mobilities within these themes were found to impact participants’ perception of both the objective and existential authenticity of objects, places, guide, host community, experience and self. Responses from the open-ended questionnaires reveal that some respondents recognized the walking on the tour as engendering more authentic experiences compared to other common tourism offerings, which was what motivated them to join the tours. The findings inform both mobilities and tourism authenticity literatures, and reveal the dense interactions between them.
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/143840
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