CFP – Tourism geographies of the future.

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Abstract Submission Deadline – 31 January, 2020.

RGS-IBG Annual International Conference: London, September, 1-4

CFP – Tourism geographies of the future.

Session sponsor: Geographies of Leisure and Tourism Research Group (GLTRG)

Session conveners: Dr. Michael O’ Regan (Bournemouth University)

Tourism studies have become increasingly interested in the future, with tourism futures explored through a wide range of questions. From theoretical conceptualizations and explorations of the tourist label as a political construct, tourism as a social construct, to the role of tourisms’ past in imagining the future, scholars are seeking ways to investigate what contemporary tourism geographies may or should look like in the future, how these futures are actively shaped, contested, or denied by choices made by government, businesses, community groups and individuals and how to implement win-win solutions so as to provide common good. The lack of common good in present day tourism is apparent, with conflict, anxiety, despair and fear. Once a construct full of possibilities and fertile ground for economic growth and social interaction, “tourist utopians” have turned dystopian, as tourismphobia and anti-tourism movements undermine the certainty of tourism futures. These uncertainties are exacerbated as societies face up to climate change, rising seas, poverty, inequality, sifting wildlife patterns, security issues and extreme weather events.

This panel might explore a range of futures by identifying orientations that characterize present approaches and the implications of present choices. From stretching out every day thinking, anxieties, hopes, fears, and orientations, how does (in)equality, climate change, the changing world order, popularism, technological innovation, and the position of younger generations offer us frameworks of meaning with which to imagine tourism geographies of the future. 

We are currently seeking contributions from any branches of geography for a paper presentation session involving five presentations each lasting around 15 minutes with time for questions. We also invite scholars to frame stories within the “world-building” genre to explore ideas, concerns, and controversies to illustrate what it might mean to be a tourist in the future under different scenarios and provide different perspective on how to prepare for the future. This allows creative license as the future could be a radical departure from the present or a repetition of the past or present. The presentation may be executed in traditional or innovative styles.   Across the futures and speculative fiction pathways, topics might include:

–          Tourism Futures – Travel and tourism, tourists and destinations/ experiments in alternative travel, tourism and living e.g. Asian Century.

–          Tourism taxation – Fiscal/ Financial geographies e.g. carbon tax, tourist taxes.

–          Utopian and Dystopia Tourism Geographies – Inclusive Resorts, Floating Cities for tourists.

–          Reclaiming Life in the Tourism City – banning tourists, codes of conduct, diverting them to certain spaces, banning tourist infrastructures (hotels, airports) or particular activities (driving).  

–          Future Tourism Conflict – (e.g. over water resources, access to heritage sites)/ social movements and protests.

–          Geographies of Justice – Borders / Discrimination/ Freedom of movement/ opposition to discrimination.

–          Tourism and geographies of social change e.g. social inequalities.

–          Technology and the future of tourism geographies (AI/ Biometric Technologies, Robots and Automation/ Algorithms).

–          Geographies of tourism development and planning.

–          Future imaginaries and strategies to redesign travel and tourism so as to acknowledge race, class and gender.

–          New frameworks/ methodologies for understanding the future.

Please send expressions of interest/ abstracts (approx. 250 words) with author contact details and affiliation to Michael O’ Regan – by January 31, 2020.