Monday, December 7, 2009

Future Tourism

By 2020- the nature of traditional Tourism will have radically altered in many ways.
There has already been a reduction in overseas travel and this trend will accelerate, as more travellers become aware that air travel contributes 3%-4% of global carbon emissions. This will increase the popularity of local destinations in all countries, including exploring local wildernesses and heritage sites, as well as exotic city theme parks. Communities in city and country areas with common interests will also take advantage of local resources to a much greater degree, creating their own local travel themes independently of the larger operators.

Travel will also need to become more eco-friendly and socially responsible, with travel operators offering a choice of carbon offsets such as tree planting. And as tourists also contribute to the risk of damage to fragile archealogical sites and pristine wildernesses, they will be encouraged to volunteer their skills to remediate the environments they visit, as part of a holiday package.

By 2030/40- many ecosystems will have disappeared or be at risk- reefs, coastal areas, forests and glaciers etc, while thirty percent of animal and plant species will have disappeared or be endangered. Tourists will be banned from most national parks and will rush to visit the last great cultural sites and wildernesses on earth before they disappear or are closed to humans. Following today's trend, most wild animal species will be viewed solely in zoos and theme parks.

Major cities and surrounding areas will become the main tourist hubs, offering not only traditional entertainment and cultural experiences, but previously outdoor physical activities such as surfing, skiing, fishing and golfing; but now in controlled managed environments.

By 2050 tourism will have fragmented into myriad exotic experiences often transacted in virtual and augmented realites- simulating extraordinarily realistic and immersive environments,involving all the senses. Gradually such travel experiences will be indistinguishable from previous realities- allowing unlimited options- trips into space and under the oceans, back in time to historic events and forward into future civilisations.

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