Thinking through tourism and mobilities? Where might tourism mobilities ‘go’? (16253)
The mobilities paradigm has grown considerably since initial articles in early to mid- noughties (recognising also that its history can be traced back much further via various disciplines and research areas). It is a concept that tourism and geography scholars alike have utilised to engage with virtual, physical and social movement of people, objects, information and knowledge. Travel and movement of the corporeal body and of visible and invisible ‘stuff’ has become a normal part of everyday life for many people. Yet in this very statement are hidden a multitude of tensions, power relations and inequalities. This paper intends to offer some initial thoughts on how tourism’s current conceptions (or understandings) of mobility impact upon contemporary tourism practices and the tensions inherent in these practices. Using examples of young budget travellers (such as backpackers and those on their ‘OE’), lifestyle mobilities and recent collaborative and interdisciplinary work on academic mobilities, this paper aims to consider how the mobilities paradigm can be utilised within tourism to gain broader insights into wider social matters such as transnationalism and cosmopolitanism, migration and (global) citizenship as well growing global issues such as climate change. The paper will conclude by considering if, how and whether a mobilities lens may provide guidelines, hope or a long term sustainable future for our tourism, leisure and work activities.