The Disaster Tourist: Excellent rendering of the extraordinary

Book review: Questioning of any notion of authenticity is central to Yun Ko-eun’s book

“Authenticity” has become one of the most sought-after aspects of modern tourism. The quest is particularly important for those people who disdain the poolside holiday and seek instead an experience of which they will be uniquely appreciative.

But just how authentic can any holiday be? The mere act of going to a particular destination changes the nature of the place the tourists visit. They are soon looked on as a source of revenue by either impoverished locals or opportunistic businesspeople and their particular needs begin to influence the locale. Yet, that ache persists and many travel companies exist to cater to the needs of those jaded people who seek transcendence in the simple or tragic lives of others.

The Irish Times
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