As we barrel forward into this new millennium, Jane I. Guyer (2019) argues that the “near future” of social and economic life has become increasingly indefinite. To Guyer, nearness “implies that one can see it and thereby actively create a path toward it, based on an understanding of oneself and the terrain ahead, drawing on reasoned thought” (p. 377). Yet in recent decades, reasoned thought has struggled to clarify the social, political, and economic terrain that lies ahead of us. Thus, in public discourse the temporal frame of the near future has largely given way to the immediate and the long term.
In the context of multiple global crises of human and environmental health, the world of travel and recreation would seem to aptly illustrate the incoherence of the near future. In the immediate future, the consequences of decisions made by tourism operators or actions taken by individual tourists are largely knowable, even if they are not certain. In the long term, some of us may be able to envision the emergence of a wholly new order of people and things. Yet in the near future — the time between the immediate and the long-term — things seem increasingly, stubbornly unpredictable.
We invite you to share your perspectives on the near future of tourism, but we take a cue from Guyer’s observation that “the verbs associated with visions of the future have shifted” (p. 379). In the context of intertwined global crises, it may prove impossible to predict the near future of tourism, but what can we anticipate?
Please share your perspective in 100 words or 1 image. Send your contribution to ATIG.Web.Editor@gmail.com by May 2022, and we’ll feature it on our website and social media accounts.