Reviewed by: Cheryl LaGuardia, research librarian, Widener Library, Harvard University
The stated goal of the Journal of Tourism Futures
is “is to bring academic rigour to the study of the future of tourism.” It has an editorial board composed of faculty from a range of disciplines (including management, tourism, hospitality studies, and leisure studies) as well as business people, tourism officials in various countries around the world, and marketing professionals. The editors’ aims include inspiring and informing practitioners, educators, researchers and students about the future of tourism, and they “welcome creative and innovative approaches and papers that introduce new concepts and ideas.”
What comes across immediately from this journal is that tourism is a huge industry that is changing constantly, and that serious research is being done on who travels, why they travel, what the economics are that may drive travel decisions, and what makes a successful tourist travel experience. The contents of Volume 3, Issue 1, 2017 convey a good cross-section of what’s to be found here: for example, the article, “Political turbulence and business as usual: tourism’s future” finds that “Western countries will continue to experience all sorts of political and social turbulence for the foreseeable future, as their populations become increasingly bifurcated in terms of their wealth and the fiat currency system and fractional reserve system of banking reaches the limits of what it is capable of. However, this does not necessarily mean that tourists will be deterred from travelling to developed countries, as long as the developed countries shield visitors from social upheaval and politically unpleasant events such as strikes, riots, and demonstrations.” In the article, “Sustainable tourism 2040,” the authors conducted a “study… in which sustainability, foresight and business identity featured as the guiding concepts…, result[ing] in four scenarios for a sustainable tourism industry in 2040 which were framed by the key uncertainties driving this 2040 future.” In their article, “Ping pong in Phuket: the intersections of tourism, porn and the future,” the authors note that “Sex tourism is well documented in the literature, but what about porn tourism? Whether it is a Ping Pong show in Phuket or the Banana show in Amsterdam, porn and tourism have an encounter and gaze no different from the Mona Lisa in the Louvre or magnificent views of New Zealand’s Southern Alps. The paper aims to discuss these issues.” The article, “Digital amnesia and the future tourist” (wherein digital amnesia is defined as “The experience of forgetting information that you trust to a digital device to store and remember for you”) states “The growth of digital platforms and the consumer’s reliance is exponential. The implications for the future tourist in terms of decision making, the influence of marketing messaging and potentially the recall and reimagining of authentic experience will be significant in the future.”
This title truly examines all aspects of the future of tourism around the world, and anyone involved significantly in the tourism industry will want to know about it.
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