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Culture and Authenticity in a Traditional Event: The Views of Producers, Residents, and Visitors in Barcelona

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Tourism is often seen as having a negative impact on the cultural content and "authenticity" of cultural events. However, there is a dearth of empirical studies on this issue and most research tends to focus on the attitudes of either the "residents" or "visitors" to festivals. This article examines the views of cultural producers, local residents, and visitors to a traditional cultural event in Barcelona, Spain. Although "locals" and "visitors" both tend to view the event as "authentic" and its cultural content as "local," significant differences were found. Residents tend to have a constructive view of authenticity linked to cultural and social references, whereas visitors employ a more existential view of authenticity related to their enjoyment of the event and experience of difference. Significant differences were also found between different visitor groups and between different groups of residents, suggesting the need for more sophisticated analysis of the consumption of cultural festivals and its effects.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2007

More about this publication?
  • Event Management, an International Journal, intends to meet the research and analytic needs of a rapidly growing profession focused on events. This field has developed in size and impact globally to become a major business with numerous dedicated facilities, and a large-scale generator of tourism. The field encompasses meetings, conventions, festivals, expositions, sport and other special events. Event management is also of considerable importance to government agencies and not-for-profit organizations in a pursuit of a variety of goals, including fund-raising, the fostering of causes, and community development.
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