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The Real Deal – Leeds and Faversham

Leeds: “A thriving cultural city where locals play pavement chess, people thank the bus driver (and the bus driver calls them ?luv?) and where the tourist can experience a different way of living in a city.” I nominated Leeds as one of the 50 most authentic places on earth in British Airways Highlife

Along of course with Faversham, Mark Jones writes in this month's BA Highlife

“Let’s call on an expert. Harold Goodwin is Britain’s first Professor of
Responsible Tourism and is trying to get the idea of authentic tourism
off the ground. We meet in Faversham, Kent, the spiritual home of
authentic tourism and have dinner at the Tapster, a fine, barn-like
structure of old Kentish red brick and brown weatherboard. We look out
of leaded windows onto an old vineyard and Harold says, ?How old would
you say this place is?? I reply, ?Um, 17th century?? ?No. 1988,? he
tells me…..

The next day, Harold whisks me around the town. It’s a place of
nooks, crannies and unexpected encounters ? an 18th-century shipyard, a
half-Elizabethan, half-Regency Guildhall, a Tudor grammar school,
Victorian almshouses. Harold says this about Faversham, as he says
about all his favourite authentic places: ?It’s got a high degree of
local distinctiveness ? a strong sense of place. It welcomes visitors
but does not see them as its main livelihood.?”

Mark Jones concludes  ” authentic places are those which are comfortable in their own
skin. An authentic travel experience is when you get under the skin of
that place. An authentic tourist is someone who is changed by a place
and doesn?t seek to change it. Let’s celebrate them.”

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