Critical tourism studies: new directions for volatile times

Publication Name

Tourism Geographies


Key themes in critical tourism geographies are reviewed and future research agendas suggested in light of a growing global sense of ecological and political-economic instability. Three cross-cutting threads in critical tourism studies are proposed as frames to recalibrate existing knowledges. Following theorisation of the Anthropocene as humans exceeding planetary thresholds, each frame encircles a key excess unleashed in the context of tourism that looms large amidst unfurling forces: excess capital and its territorial fixes; excessive mobilities and accompanying socio-material struggles; and biopolitical limits and excesses. Concluding thoughts focus on responsibility and an interlocutory optics required for tourism studies in the Anthropocene: with an eye squarely focussed on a suite of tenacious and oppressive forces–dispossession, displacement, commodification, exclusion, extinction–and another drawn to resistances as well as tourism’s quieter, but perhaps no less significant, possibilities to learn, to address wrongs and to extend empathy that emerge from everyday moments of encounter.

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