Journal of Tourism Futures

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Journal of Tourism Futures

The Journal of Tourism Futures is a result of the growing awareness, in academia but especially in the professional world, of the increasing importance of tourism as a social phenomenon and as an economic sector. If we see that the impact on our lives, our culture and our economy is growing, it becomes urgent that we understand how things will evolve, which variables determine this development and where we should intervene. The goal of this initiative is to bring academic rigor to the study of the future of tourism.

It is no more than a few decades ago that access to both free time and to the resources to spend this time on holiday travel became generalised in the traditional markets. Tourist destinations started to flourish and could optimize their benefits by reactively creating new services and new businesses; but there was hardly any strategic anticipation of the changes these developments would cause, for the good —intensification of international contact, economic , economic growth— and for the bad —the destruction of environmental and cultural riches of some destinations. Now that the economic magnitude of tourism has become evident (the numbers are known:  tourism represents 9% of world GDP and a trillion US dollars in international receipts,  6% of world exports, and it employs 258 million people) (Yeoman 2012), businesses and destinations realise that they can no longer afford to just wait and see what happens.

When the European Tourism Futures Institute was created, in 2009, industry leaders had observed correctly that research always told them what had happened in the past, whereas they were far more interested in anticipating what was going to come. “The future is the only thing we can change”, as Ian Yeoman reminds us. The academic challenge is therefore to develop methods and perspectives to systematically reflect on what lies ahead. An unusual approach, as the future is about the unknown and uncertainty, while research councils and pay masters oblige us to look for certainty. We have initiated the Journal of Tourism Futures as a forum to discuss the theories of futures studies along with their practical implications in our field. We will include studies on the future of tourism from a theoretical perspective, research on global trends and scenarios as well as the evolution and strategies of specific destinations, viewpoints of thought leaders and other approaches that are relevant for the interpretation of imminent or potential changes. Within this focus on the future of tourism, the journal will welcome contributions from a range of perspectives inclusive of, but not limited to, economics, spatial and social sciences. We hope to not only advance the academic debate on tourism futures, but also to promote the exchange of ideas between scholars, policy makers, entrepreneurs and others involved in the future of tourist activities and of tourist destinations. As researchers, we do not advocate a certain outcome of current tourist developments; but it is our ambition that this debate on futures studies will contribute to “well informed choices”.

The aims of the journal are to:

  • To inspire the tourism industry and academic community about the future of tourism
  • The dissemination and formulation of the body of knowledge called tourism futures to practitioners, educators, researchers and students.
  • To provide an international forum for a wide range of practical, theoretical and applied research within the field of tourism futures
  • To represent a multi-disciplinary set of views on key and emerging issues in tourism futures.
  • To include a cross-section of methodologies and viewpoints on research, including quantitative and qualitative approaches, case studies, and empirical and theoretical studies. 
  • To encourage greater understanding and linkage between the fields of study related to tourism futures.
  • To publish new and original ideas.

The scope of the journal is:
The Journal will serve and reflect the tremendous growth in research and discussions in tourism futures.
The Journal will take a broad and multi-disciplinary approach to the future, whether it is short term or long term or economics or consumer behaviour. However, the journal will not comprise its position that all papers must be about the ‘future’ and ‘tourism’. 
We encourage papers that stretch the current boundaries of the fields and develop new areas and new linkages with other relevant areas or combine or introduce new approaches and methodologies.
The Journal welcomes creative and innovative approaches and papers that introduce new concepts and ideas.