Envisioning the futures of cultural tourism

Futures. 2022 Sep;142:103013. doi: 10.1016/j.futures.2022.103013. Epub 2022 Jul 28.


In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the future of tourism is a much-debated topic both in academic and non-academic circles with commentators expounding contrasting perspectives. This conceptual paper contributes to such debates and aims at envisioning plausible futures of cultural tourism, in particular. For that purpose, we first discuss cultural tourism trends and the future scenarios available in the literature. Then, we articulate three cultural tourism visions of the decades to come: a utopian, a dystopian and a heterotopian vision. Finally, we conclude that the heterotopian vision provides the most nuanced interpretation of the future of cultural tourism and we discuss the potential ramifications of such a vision.

Keywords: Cultural tourism; Dystopia; Futures; Governance; Heterotopia; Utopia.