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Searching for authenticity and experience : backpackers travelling in Australia

conference contribution
posted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by Wendy HillmanWendy Hillman
This paper examines the concepts of both authenticity and experience as encountered by the group of independent budget travellers known as backpackers. The study undertaken for this research explores the salient issues related to undergoing the 'real' or 'true' experience while travelling within Australia. It is apparent that backpackers travel for longer than other tourists. Many of them see themselves as travellers and not tourists and do not wish to associate themselves, or their experiences, with the mass tourist industry. Therefore, they distance themselves from both the mores and norms associated with tourist marketing and contrived experience. From a sociological perspective, it is apparent that these backpackers actively construct their own versions of the 'authentic' in their travels throughout Australia. Through their distinctive mode of travel they separate themselves off from the mainstream, and thus, commodified tourist market. The backpackers' love of travelling and the exploration of other countries appears to be used as an


Parent Title

TASA 2001 Conference : abstract booklet, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia, 13-15 December 2001.

Start Page


End Page


Number of Pages


Start Date



Sydney, Australia


Australian Sociological Association

Place of Publication

Sydney, Australia

Peer Reviewed

  • Yes

Open Access

  • No

External Author Affiliations

James Cook University; TBA Research Institute;

Era Eligible

  • No

Name of Conference

Australian Sociological Association. Conference