Chapter 5: The Socio-Cultural Impacts of Tourism

Question 1: Explain the concept of staged authenticity and discuss what this might mean for the tourist experience.

Answer Guide: The term staged authenticity acknowledges that tourists may search for authentic experiences of another culture and consequently this leads to locals of that culture conveniently staging those experiences, in a manner that appears as realistic as possible. Consequently, culture is commercialized and trivialized as it is conveniently packaged for the tourists. The implication of this is that cultures can be corrupted or adapted to make it appeal to tourists. While tourists get to access these cultural experiences conveniently, they could be considered inauthentic and if the tourist appreciates this then this may lead to disappointment. However, many tourists do not question whether such displays are inauthentic and accept these as valid examples.

Question 2: Throughout the chapter we have discussed many different socio-cultural impacts. What factors are likely to influence the intensity of these impacts?

Answer Guide: The intensity of impact is likely to be influenced:

  • The extent to which cultures differ between host and guest
  • The length of time of the interaction
  • Level of awareness (education and prior knowledge/experience) of the different cultures
  • Difficulties caused by language barriers

Question 3: How does Doxey’s irridex help us understand the host-guest relationship?

Answer Guide: Doxey identified the changing relationship between the host and guest as more guests arrive. There are four stages:




Stage 1


Visitors welcomed, little formal development

Stage 2


Visitors taken for granted, contacts become commercial

Stage 3


Locals concerned about tourism, efforts made to improve infrastructure

Stage 4


Open hostility from locals, attempts to limit damage and tourism flows

The symptoms above highlight how the host-guest relationship is likely to change as arrivals at a destination increase.