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Describe how different types of cultural tourism products present different levels of authenticity and commodification. IntroductionCultural tourism is not a new phenomenon and has existed since the ancient times. Different cultural groups would travel from place to place and the main reason for travel in the ancient times was trade and pilgrimage. However, with time there developed special interests by especially Europeans in other cultures. Other relationships between cultures was developed by the Europeans and were: Darwinism and the search for the ‘origins of man’, The Christian missionary quest to ‘save savage and Colonialism and the enlargement of empire and souls.

Past tourism is also included in cultural tourism and is widely known as heritage cultural tourism. For cultural tourism to be effective, perspectives of other cultural tourism have to be considered. Cultural revatism acts as a catalyst for this as it promotes cultural understanding of other cultures. Tourism related to culture largely depends on validity or undisputed credibility about that particular culture (authencity). StatementCultural tourism has been practiced since time in memorial. However, there are different reasons as to why it was practiced but the main reasons were trade and pilgrimage.

With time especially when the European countries started to be relatively congested, new interests in other cultures developed. Among the first interests was the search for the origin of man by Darwin. Later colonialism was seen and then the spread of the Biblical words by the missionaries. Culture reflects the way people with a common ancestor behave and the way they live according to their past or according to the way their ancestors did (Smith, 2003). Culture can also define the way people have developed and adapted to the place they live from the past to the present.

The definitions of culture cannot be overemphasized and there are very many according to different authors and people. However, culture can only be defined well when considering how people behave, how they perceive the world and has to involve the values and codes of a particular social group. Cultures have been seen to change over a period of time in adapting in their environment. Some change at a very fast rate while others change over a long period of time.

Ancient people thought that cultures never change but this has been proved otherwise as presently people adapt new ways of life and ideas from others thereby changing their different cultures. Nowadays, many people are adapting the western culture in many ways especially the technological advancements. This aspect of changing ideas manifests itself clearly in the tourism sector which has to consider cultural aspects of different cultural groups for it to succeed. Interaction among people is a key concept in culture.

Relating with other cultures is very vital as we are able to share ideas and learn from others effectively. According to (Burns 1999), culture is achieved through both social relations and materials products. This shows both the visible and invisible aspects interchanged in cultures and may include food, marriage, and the ways systems like political and economic systems function and materially through buildings, tools and transport. These invisible and visible artifacts of culture influence tourism in many ways and they are therefore considered to be very important in tourism.

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