Accelerating international tourism is contributing to the global prosperity and enabling intercultural exchange. Tourism is also causing congestion at its destinations, increasing the global ecological footprint, threatening local cultural traditions and upsetting established companies with flexible ‘asset-light’ digital disruptive models and start ups.
Tourism is changing in character. By including new target groups, such as the citizens of new global players, for example, China and India, tourism is increasingly focusing on “global points of interest”, bottlenecking of global tourist destinations.
Tourism is transforming, not only because of the targeting new groups, such as the disabled and the growing group of wealthy elderly. New forms are emerging, such as Slow Tourism, Disaster Tourism, Slum Tourism, Culinary Tourism… Tourism is increasingly splintering and diversifying, as personalized tourist services offer specialized customized tourist experiences with “Experience Tourism” and “Field Trips” addressing individual interests and special dreams and desires. New tourist ‘hybrids’ such as “Wellness Travel”, “Voluntourism” (combining voluntarism with tourism), ‘Authentourism’ (promising ‘authentic’ experiences) or “Bleisure” (combining business with leisure traveling) emerge.
With the merging of work and leisure and the increasing importance of “work-life-balance”, the concept of tourism is expanding. Today it is not only about traveling for recreation holy-days. Work flexibilisation and digital networks and technology with their global reach enable a de-localization of work, making it possible for professionals to work from ever-changing locations around the world. This mobile group is demanding customized ‘hospitality’ services and flexible solutions.
This supports the ongoing shift to a ‘sharing economy’. Peer-to-peer services flourish, as young consumers opt paying for access to housing and mobility instead of buying a house and a car. Bypassing professional travel agents and services, social platforms such as “Spotted by Locals” or “zipskee” “connect travelers and locals”. Peer-to-peer platforms, such as “Airbnb”, are disrupting the hospitality market and strongly influencing the housing situation, upsetting the social cohesion. Platforms, such as “BlaBlaCar” or “Uber”, offer peer-to-peer mobility services, changing the way we move and experience cities in general, and reinventing transport.
FuTourism investigates how future tourism can support sustainability. In what way can travellers, that have no long-term commitment to place, contribute to the transition to the Circular City? Can tourists and locals co-create sustainable environments and lifestyles?
FuTourism addresses in an integrated way multiple dimensions such as walkability, cyclability, playability, safety, good environmental and housing conditions and healthy food, caring social relations and a stimulating environment, psychological health and wellbeing…
As issues such as tourism, mobility, ecology, health, (smart-) retail, culture are increasingly being interwoven with each other they have to be addressed in a crossover transdisciplinary way.