Abstract This paper aims at a conceptual clarification of the meanings of authenticity in tourist experiences. Three approaches are discussed, objectivism, constructivism, and postmodernism, and the limits of object-related authenticity are also exposed. It is suggested that existential authenticity is an alternative source in tourism, regardless of whether the toured objects are authentic. This concept is further classified into two different dimensions: intra-personal and inter-personal. This demonstrates that existential authenticity can explain a greater variety of tourist experiences, and hence helps enhance the explanatory power of the authenticity-seeking model in tourism.