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Manuela Blapp and Ondrej Mitas

This chapter explains the role of authenticity in creative tourism in rural areas and identifies future research needs. Community-based tourism and creative tourism both use the concept of authenticity extensively, but uncritically. To develop creative tourism in rural areas and prevent commodification, the theoretical assumptions and definitions behind authenticity must be considered. The study analyses how different theories of authenticity are applied in creative and community-based tourism literature and suggests a synthetic theory of authenticity applicable to creative tourism development in rural areas. This theory was explored in the context of five Balinese villages using a microethnographic approach with participant observation and expert as well as tourist interviews. Findings extend the discussion in the literature and provide further evidence that the synthesized definition of authenticity is reasonable for creative tourism in rural areas. This definition of authenticity may develop differently in other cultural contexts. More research is also needed to classify expectations of authenticity among different types of creative tourists. Finally, as tourism influences how authenticity changes over time, future research on the carrying capacity of rural areas is essential for the development of creative tourism in rural areas.