Xavier Matteucci from the Tourism & Hospitality Management study programs published a new scientific article that discusses the futures of cultural tourism.
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. Xavier Matteucci, from the Tourism & Hospitality Management study programs of FHWien der WKW, has contributed to this debate in a recently published article in Futures, a leading interdisciplinary journal in the emerging field of Future Studies. With colleagues from Breda University of Applied Sciences, Matteucci envisions plausible futures of cultural tourism. The paper first discusses cultural tourism trends and the future scenarios available in the literature. Then, Matteucci and his colleagues articulate three cultural tourism visions of the decades to come: a utopian, a dystopian and a heterotopian vision. Finally, it is concluded that the heterotopian vision provides the most nuanced interpretation of the future of cultural tourism.
A heterotopian future better accounts for contingencies, and the many struggles and social movements unfolding in many places. It is suggested that pockets of resistance to mainstream cultural tourism practices will emerge in various forms. These pockets of resistance will be marked by ethical modes of consumption and governance, as well as by democratic and egalitarian relationships between tourists and hosts. Considering that it is unlikely that a governance paradigm shift takes place from one day to the next, we expect these bubbles of ethical consumption to develop slowly, spread and become role models for many community-led cultural tourism initiatives. As alternative creative practices and experiences, such cultural tourism interventions are deemed to be heterotopian for their rebellious character and their emancipatory power.