This study theoretically examines the role of popular culture and tourism in the construction of cultural authenticity in contemporary society. As a result of the erosion of traditional values, popular culture and tourism have become decisive factors in the social construction of cultural authenticity. Popular culture creates cultural images, and tourism represents official form of culture. Cultural functions of popular culture and tourism are organically connected. Public awareness of culture is constantly reconstructed through interaction between popular culture and tourism, and it can be considered to be the substance of cultural authenticity in postmodern era.
Recently the fact that young people in Japan show little interest in travelling abroad has drawn academic interest in the field of tourist behavior. In this study we surveyed Japanese and Korean undergraduate students in order to examine the difference of views on overseas tourism. The study showed that the Japanese undergraduates regarded functional elements of travel destinations and tourist activities such as sight-seeing, eating and shopping, as important and also showed travel patterns individual mass tourists. Meanwhile Korean undergraduates put a stronger emphasis on psychological elements of travel destinations, tourist activities like the pursuit of relaxation, escape, events and international exchange. They tended to be explorers. There were obvious differences between the two countries. Their nationalities had a big influence on their thoughts about travelling abroad.