Critical Tourism Studies Asia Pacific Conference at Wakayama University, Japan
17-19 February 2020 I’m joining this conference on that important current topic Overtourism at Wakayama University just south of Osaka. I’ll be spending a few days as a tourist around the area as well.
Tuesday 18 February – afternoon – I’m doing a public keynote address which I’ve titled:
• Overtourism – the bad, the good & an easy cure
Tourism has always been full of buzzwords – recently we’ve moved on from voluntourism, staycations are becoming a little passe, ground travel is making a comeback against all those low-cost-carrier weekend escapes and second cities are a concept I’m very enthusiastic about, but the two big buzzwords as we move into the 2020s are certainly Flygskam or flight shame (with Green Travel as it’s opposite number) and the big subject we’re here to discuss: Overtourism.
I don’t want to downplay the dangers of Overtourism, but I do want to look at why it happens and what we can do about it. I will look at places that have big tourist numbers, but seem to manage them comfortably, I’ll suggest that even places that feature on the overtouristed shame list are not necessarily lost causes. I also plan to talk about Overtourism’s opposite number: Undertourism. Finally I’m going to look at a place where I’ve been to recently which is dramatically undertouristed and why I don’t feel their easy answer to keeping tourists out is necessarily a good one.
Wednesday 19 February – time yet to be announced – I’m joining Alex Kerr (Lost Japan) and Guy Sibilla to talk on Travel Writing that Matters in Troubled Times
Islands of Australia was published by the National Library of Australia in October and I’ve done a lot of talks and interviews about this rather wonderful new book – hey, I’m being modest, the National Library’s publishing arm produced a beautiful book.