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2020-2021 Colloquium Series

The Tourism Studies Working Group is pleased to present

Tourist Experience of Authenticity at Vietnam War Sites

Ngan Phan, PhD Candidate
Marketing, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia

Friday, February 19, 4PM-6PM
Hosted on Zoom [click here]

War site heritages offer tourists a contextual setting that provokes differing perceptions of authenticity. This research seeks to examine the interplay of tourist experience and authenticity to understand how authenticity emerges in war site settings. To pave the way for the understanding of how tourists experienced authenticity of the heritage war sites, discourses on war, and their selves, the thesis provides a contextual understanding of the dominant discourses in connection with the recent wars in Vietnam, namely the Indochina War and the American-Vietnam War.

Using qualitative methodology, the research employs observation of the popular war sites in Vietnam and in-depth interviews with tourists who visited these sites. Participants include tourists from Vietnam as well as Western tourists from Australia, New Zealand and America.

The thesis findings reveal the interplay of three interrelated concepts of authenticity: war-site authenticity, discourse authenticity, and existential authenticity. These findings contribute to a growing body of literature on authenticity in heritage tourism, authenticity in tourist experience, and dark tourism marketing. It also offers practical implications for heritage curators and marketers, which would entail adjustments in the representation and interpretation of heritage war sites to appeal to multiple segments of tourists.

Speaker Bio:
Ngan Phan has taught at Hanoi University since 2009. She is a PhD candidate in Marketing at RMIT, Melbourne, and she was awarded a BA at Foreign Trade U. Vietnam, in 2003, and an MA at Leeds Becket University, UK.

Her research papers include

i.sub. Tourist authentication: caught between different discourses on war, in submission to Annals of Tourism Research.

2021 Heritage authentication: the management of dissonant heritage. J. of Destination Marketing and management

2019 War site authentication under the influence of cultural discourses, ANZMAC Conference, NZ (authours Ngan Phan, Figueiredo, B., & Appau, & Beverland S.)

2019 How tourists authenticate war sites. TTRA Conference, Melbourne (co-authours Ngan Phan, Figueiredo, B., Appau, S. & Beverland S.)

2018 Authenticity: from war landscape to tourism landscape. Engaging with Viet Nam Conference, Hi Chi Minh City (co-authours Ngan Phan, Beverland, & Figueiredo, B.)

2017 A multi-stakeholder perspective on heritage authenticity and authentication. ANZMAC Conference, Melbourne (co-authours Ngan Phan, Beverland, & Figueiredo, B.)

2016 Market orientation and student satisfaction. Journal of Research, Hanoi University, (co-authours Ngan Phan & Phuong Pham.)

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