Authenticity perceptions of nature based-attractions, such as Preikestolen, Norway, by people with different backgrounds
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- Master's theses (SV-NHS) 
This explorative case study is about Preikestolen, one of the most iconic attraction in Norway. Recently, it has an increasing number in visitation and provides relatively easy hiking, due its’ route developments, engaging “mass” or individual tourists with different levels of experience. Nature-based tourism satisfies the needs of contemporary tourists, providing a variety of visual and physical experiences, such as recreation, sightseeing, wilderness, relaxation, personal interactions, etc., being main motives for tourists. The paper measures existential authenticity of activity-based attractions, playing a crucial role in overall satisfaction and latter behavioural attitudes. The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationships between tourist backgrounds, in this case, prior tourist nature-based experience, and perceptions of the Preikestolen experience authenticity. This paper represents the data of 74 tourists’ experiences, on-site data sources include in-person interviews and on-site observations. The results agree with previous works in the literature, arguing for “the difference of perceptions between experienced/inexperienced” visitors. The paper revealed a negative relationship between prior experience and authenticity, meaning that the more experienced tourists are, the less authentic Preikestolen experience is for them. Inexperienced tourists responded more positively to the authenticity, unlike experienced, but, also, accompanied with a frustration caused by the low service of the attraction. This paper provides practical managerial implications based on study results and discussions about a controversy between the need for commoditization of Preikestolen and preservation of authenticity, attracting the visitors.
Master's thesis in International Hospitality Management