■ True Love
Fake news may or may not be a thing, but interest in the authenticity of brands, products and experiences shows no signs of cooling. Expedia Group’s 2016 Millennial Traveller Report found that experiencing authentic culture was most important to 76 percent of baby boomers, 62 percent of gen-Xers and 52 percent of millennials. And its Multinational Travel Trends, published last fall, predicts that emphasis on the authentic version of a place will grow in 2019.
■ Real Deal
This month, Indigenous Tourism BC launches its Authentic Indigenous designation program. Similar to the 2012-15 Authentic Aboriginal initiative, the new designation aims to reassure consumers that they are obtaining a genuine, culturally appropriate experience, as well as provide marketing opportunities for ITBC members. To participate, businesses must be Indigenous-owned and -operated, include Indigenous cultural content and be tourism-related, market-ready and high-quality.
■ Wholly Terroir
Another way to explore a place is through its wine. Okanagan Crush Pad, whose Haywire Free Form White 2016 was one of Decanter magazine’s most exciting wines of 2018 in December, uses organic grapes, native yeast and no commercial additives. The Summerland winemakers believe the best way to achieve authenticity of place is to not manipulate or add anything to wine so each vintage is one of a kind.