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NZTRI Seminar Series 2010 New Zealand Tourism Research Institute Ph. D proposal presentation Authenticity and tourism in Kazakhstan: neo-nomadic culture in the post Soviet era Guillaume Tiberghien
Timeline: Kazakhstan • 1 st-8 th centuries - Turkicspeaking Mongol tribes invade and settle. • 1219 -24 - Genghis Khan invade Kazakhstan and Central Asia. • Russian domination: 1868 -1916 - Thousands of Russian and Ukrainian peasants are brought in to settle Kazakh lands; first industrial enterprises set up.
Timeline: Kazakhstan (continued) • Soviet rule: Late 1920 s-1930 s Intensive industrialisation and collectivisation of agriculture. • 1949 - The first nuclear test explosion is carried out at the Semipalatinsk nuclear test ground in eastern Kazakhstan. • 1961 - The first manned spacecraft launched from the Baikonur space launch site in central Kazakhstan.
Timeline: Kazakhstan (continued) • 1991 – Independence: Nursultan Nazarbayev becomes president and Kazakhstan declares its independence from the Soviet Union. • 1997 - The Kazakh capital is moved from Almaty in the south to Akmola in the north, lately renamed Astana. • 2009 - Chinese President Hu Jintao and President Nazarbayev unveil the Kazakh section of a natural gas pipeline joining Central Asia to China.
Difficult to get accurate tourism data… International visitors Domestic visitors 2008 38 000 175 000 2009 31 500 122 000 Number of inbound and outbound visitors in Kazakhstan in 2008 and 2009 , official Kazakhstan statistics site (http: //www. eng. stat. kz , June 2010) International visitors Domestic visitors 2008 4 689 390 4 028 000 2009 4 330 000 4 241 484 Number of inbound and outbound visitors in Kazakhstan in 2008 and 2009 , Evgueni Nikitinsky, adviser of the Minister of Tourism and Sports of Kazakhstan (http: //www. ftnnews. com/content/view/9194/29/, 20/04/2010).
Back in the USSR till now… • 1929: creation of the official state travel agency of the Soviet Union, Intourist, by Joseph Staline. • 2009: A need for the development of ecocultural tourism in the country. Experience an authentic nomadic lifestyle?
Authenticity in tourism matters • Authenticity has become a mirror of our societies that reject mass consumption. • Authenticity appears to remain a puzzling concept that finds its importance in Tourism studies (Jamal and Hill, 2002).
Authenticity in Tourism practices • The idea of a real travel experience: • What is a genuine local experience? • What is defined as traditional, original and local? ? ?
Rationale of the study Number of tourists Global society High Tourism consumption Consumption of culture limited to locals and few tourists Traditional society Consumption of culture by ‘post tourists’ Impact of Change (Kazakhstan as a tourism destination) 1930: Authentic Nomadic culture Commoditization of Kazakhstani culture and traditions Explorer tourism 1991: New Authentic Neo-nomadic tourism culture Impact on Culture as Tourism Moves from Small Scale to Mass Scale, adapted from Jamal and Hill, 2002.
Neo-Nomadic culture • A perpetual way of life? • Transformed since the independence of the country into a semi-nomadic lifestyle (neo-nomadic culture? ) A new form of cultural authenticity?
Aim of the research The overall aim of this project is to identify markers of authenticity in neo-nomadic Kazakhstani culture in post-Soviet heritage… …through the lens of different stakeholders involved in the development of an eco-tour in Central Kazakhstan.
Research Objectives • Identify indicators of a revival of nomadic culture in Kazakhstan. • Identify some cultural aspects of the neo-nomadic culture that can participate in the development of an authentic experiential tourism experience. • Identify how Kazakhstani tourism websites with cultural content can support this experiential tourism experience.
Expected contributions • Make significant contributions to the understanding of the concept of authenticity in neo-nomadic culture. • Create a profile of the perceptions of international and domestic visitors regarding different eco-cultural aspects of authenticity in the proposed eco-tour under study. • Provide recommendations to Kazakhstani stakeholders involved with neo-nomadic tourism in the country that relates the importance of visitors’ perception of authenticity in the development of a sustainable tourism industry.
Literature review • Scholars tend to define mainly three types of authenticity applied to tourism practices (Macleod, 2006): • objective, • constructive • post-modern
Literature review (continued) Table 1 Dimensions and Aspects for Addressing Authenticity in Cultural-heritage Tourism* Dimensions of authenticity Aspects of authenticity Time Space Approach Objective (real) Constructive (sociopolitical) “Historic Time” Mac. Cannell’s (1989) “back stage”; (e. g. sights, markers, ‘scientifically’ dated material artifacts, “genuine” objects (Bruner, 1994) “Heritage Time” Production (manufacture) of attraction, community, destination (Edensor, 1998). (socio-political landscape influencing nationhood, destination image, sense of place, heritage/historic reconstructions, etc. ) Scientific and positivist paradigms. Realist; essentialist (authenticity is a fixed property of object/event); pre-modern as original/unique Constructivism and social constructionism; Postmodernism. Meanings negotiated and emergent; political contest among stakeholders; space is mediated by ideological & technological forces; symbolic and constructed authenticity (Wang, 2000) * Adapted from Jamal and Hill (2002) Personal (phenomenological) “Resident/Visitor Time” Interactive, performative touristic space; (Edensor, 1998). (tourist and residents engage in sense-making, narrative and interpretive meaning-making encounters with situated place and contextual space) Interpretive & narrative approaches. Psychological (perceptions/emotions); Experiential and existence-based, phenomenological, where meanings emerge through the social relations that are situated and embodied in the touristic space (and place)
Objective authenticity Kazakhstan (example) Visual arts: - rock drawings, - or petroglyphs since the Neolithic Age. Terekty archaeological complex September 19, 2005 - UNESCO certificate of the inscription on the World Heritage List of the petroglyphs within the archaeological landscape of Tamgaly. Terekty archaeological complex
Constructive authenticity Kazakhstan (example) Flags, national anthems have involved rituals and myths (Hobsbawm & Ranger, 1983). Kazakhstan flag The national flag of the Republic of Kazakhstan: - sky-blue color - picture of a golden sun - a soaring steppe eagle under them. -Kazakh ornament on the side
The post-modern authenticity of consuming experience Kazakhstan (example) The experience of drinking tea in a yurt camp in the Kayindy Valley allows tourists to: - test themselves, - rediscover their essential selves - have a sense of existential authenticity through sharing this experience with the semi-nomadic livestock breeding community (Schreiber, 2009, p. 90). Tourists camp, north Tian Shan
Authenticity and the ethics of Cultural-heritage Tourism • Histories, cultures and environments reinventions and visitors expectations. • Whose heritage to present to visitors? • Authenticity becomes an issue for tourists only when their expectations are unmet or their desires unfulfilled (Smith and Duffy, 2003).
Research design • The research position for thesis is explorative/ interpretive. • Pilot study with key informants. • Visit to study sites. • The fieldwork will take place in Almaty, Astana, Karaganda and in central Kazakhstan (eco-tour).
Research methodology • The proposed thesis will utilize two stages of research: – Exploratory- identification of the main issues in the concept of authenticity applied to the Kazakhstani tourism market and – Confirmatory – testing of theoretical assumptions made via the exploratory study, as well as a field-testing approach.
Research methodology (continued) • The research will adopt a mixed methods approach based on a combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches. • We will be adopting the grounded theory due to the exploratory nature of the doctoral study. • Purposive or Judgmental Sampling method will be used to select the participants.
Exploratory stage of the research • Groups of experts of the nomadic culture in Kazakhstan (10): • International experts in nomadic culture and tourism in Kazakhstan • Representatives of different Kazakhstani cultural environments. • Professionals of tourism (TAs and Tour Operators) in Kazakhstan selected according to their level of expertise in selling “neo-nomadic experiences” to foreign visitors (10).
Exploratory stage of the research (continued) • Domestic and international visitors regarding their expectations of authenticity when they visit Kazakhstan (objective, constructive or experiential authenticity). • Business tourists (10) • Free Independent Travelers (FIT) (10) • Domestic visitors (10)
Confirmatory stage of the research • A self administrated survey through questionnaires with local and foreign visitors on the eco-site (20 -30). • The survey will focus on their perception, valuation, promotion and understanding of the different levels of authenticity about the neonomadic culture in Kazakhstan. • These visitors will be found during or after their visit on the site with the help of the main stakeholders who took part in the establishment of the eco-tour.
Case study: The ETPACK project • Was launched by the European Union in September 2008. • Was promoted by national and international third sectors – the German Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) – the Kazakh NGO (Ecomuseum Karaganda) • Is looking into the development of community based eco-tourism.
ETPACK Cycling Tour
Topic Areas for developing Indicators of Authenticity Table 2 Developing Indicators for Authenticity: Some Topic Areas and Considerations for Kazakhstani Cultural Tourism Dimensions of authenticity Topic area Objective (real) Constructed (sociopolitical) Personal (phenomenological) The yurt as an experience for tourists Performative and lived experience of identity, heritage (Bruner, 1994; Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, 1998), Nomadic lifestyle Performative spaces and the politics of cultural sites The yurt and craftspeople Buildings, machinery, demonstrations, cooking, crafts heritage theme park (Moscardo & Pearce, 1986) The yurt as an interpretation of nomadic culture Experience theatre (Interpretation of aboriginal culture and history), (Edensor, 1998) Craftspurchased by tourists (Littrells et al. , 1993); Ethnic art (Cohen, 1988) KZ yurts and fur production/ Production technique; clearly identifiable origin; links to past in design, material, technique (Littrell et al. , 1993) Giving a nomadic sense to KZ fur products Constructing self and the other’s identity through ‘substantive staging’ (Cohen, 1988), Architecture and third places Nomadic architecture (ancient mausoleums of Ulytau VS Astana city (capital city of Kazakhstan) Astana as a constructed neokazakhstani capital city Wearing KZ fur products at home Appealing or useful at home (Littrell et al. , 1993) Visiting Astana and having a cultural tour of the city.
What is authentic? ? ?
Authenticity and E-tourism in Kazakhstan • Internet is the ideal technology to handle the information and marketing aspects of community -based tourism. • Communities that wish to develop e-CBT need to be mobilised towards the use of ICTs for • their own strategic development and • the requirements for providing satisfying tourism experiences to their target clients (Harris, Vogel, 2002).
KZ Web content analysis • An ‘audit’ of the web site nomadic. kz run and operated by Nomadic Travel Kazakhstan will be conducted to identify – the focus – design characteristics and – efficiency • Regarding the promotion of the eco-tour towards local and international visitors.
Challenges • Authenticity is a ‘moving concept’. • Logistics issues inherent to post-soviet countries have to be taken into account for the data collection. • Not all the topics areas regarding authenticity could be applicable with the eco-tour.