The evolution of homo touristicus

Publication date:
Duccio Canestrini, profesor de Antropología del Turismo, Campus di Lucca, Università di Pisa


This article looks at the evolution of homo touristicus, a concept that originally referred to a person with a decent level of income who travelled for pleasure for short periods of time, taking advantage of the geoeconomic disparity between their habitual residence and the destinations chosen. This category has grown to include new sub-species and varieties that take in a wide
range of forms and motivations and goes far beyond the old ways of being a tourist. These days, tourism is constructed according to new tastes and new technologies; it seems genetically modified and as such it promotes itself and consumes. Although there is still a generic demand for escape, the settings have changed. This paper sets out some of these changes, goes on to note the particular obsession with the safety of the tourist and, finally, appeals for a harmonious development of tourist activity.

Key words: homo touristicus, tourism, mobility, neocolonialism, technologies, terrorism, security

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