The search for authenticity in the pilgrim experience

Yaniv Belhassen, Kellee Caton, William P. Stewart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study enriches the theoretical debate on the concept of authenticity by examining its relevance to the experiences of pilgrims. Overall, the study argues that the recent conceptual shift in the tourism literature, which tends to view authenticity in a subjective sense, should be rethought due to its lack of consideration of ideological and spatial dimensions. Employing data from fieldwork on fundamentalist Christian pilgrimages, the study integrates previous approaches to authenticity through a conceptual framework referred to as theoplacity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)668-689
Number of pages22
JournalAnnals of Tourism Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2008


  • authenticity
  • pilgrimage
  • place
  • religion
  • theoplacity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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