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N° 37-38, 2017 - Tourism, travels, Utopias

Deadline for submitting article proposals: December 20th 2016

Tourism, travels, Utopias

This issue of the Revue Etudes Caribéennes addresses the meaning of travelling and tourism in the context of a globalized economy and culture and the turbulent geopolitical changes occurred in recent decades. Is Utopia, a concept of utmost importance in the genesis and purpose of tourism, still a relevant topic today? This concept has a profound influence on our behavior toward the Other and Elsewhere. However, it is necessary to question the very meaning of utopias in the world of travel, especially if they are primarily considered as tourist acts of consuming places. Beyond the initial fantasy and vain exoticism, are imagination and dreams still relevant topics in an era of hyperconnectivity when planning our vacations, adventures or expeditions?

The global economic crisis and the geopolitical context have altered tourism practices in recent years, inevitably restricting our "desires for far-away places" of yesteryear. As fear takes hold, security and comfort arise as the main concerns of our daily life, and tourism is not an exception. Has travelling stopped making us dream?

Certainly traveling does not stop but utopias are no longer relevant as the fear of others makes tourists prefer to barricade themselves in and live amongst themselves. This seems clear as we watch the "come back" of resort tourism, eloquently described by Georges Cazes, with its niches and wealthy visitors, a form of reassuring and ludic tourism. In this sense, communitarianism rises in the tourism sector expressed by the growing success of cruise tourism, luxury tourism, shopping tourism, etc. These forms of tourism keep the illusion of an attractive elsewhere, and locals become props as in a theater, always kept at a safe distance.

Nevertheless, travelling still represents an invitation to forget, to dream and to discover new places and cultures. Going abroad is progressively more and more a matter of evasion, escape, flight (either beautiful or sinister): a martyr’s path, a holy war or even an ordeal. A means of salvation or an effective antidepressant, a factory of cheap happiness or a comfortable golden prison, travels-for better or for worse-, can be a unique source of healing especially for the citizens of societies in crisis.

When contemplating this hesitant world, on the verge of falling apart, one necessarily wonders: would it not be better to plan a trip recreating new forms of a mobile, nomadic and autonomous or collective utopia? What if the best utopia was to travel near home, rebuilding and strengthening social ties, instead of trying to see if the grass is always greener at the other “end of the world”?

This special issue of the Revue Etudes Caribéennes is entitled "Tourism, travels, utopias", and seeks to question the new forms of utopia that arise in the world of travel. The Caribbean, Patagonia, Indonesia and other places will set the stage and constitute the territorial case studies to be explored, considering the need for pristine lands, the desire to meet other places and cultures. The pursuit of emptiness or wholeness. Tourism in itself is nothing more than a form of utopia -which has officially existed for only two centuries. This utopia offers fresh air and a break from daily routine.

In the multiverse of tourism and travels, utopias take a variety of forms according to the people and societies involved. Their diversity stimulates not only our imagination and emotions but also our ability to understand and accept the world that surrounds us. This issue is open to all contributions in the fields of social sciences, geography, economics, geopolitics, etc. For this special issue, we will consider case studies, theoretical debates and critical reviews of research combining travels and utopias, and other perspectives and trends in relation to the globalization of tourism.

Selected topics

  • The quest for meaning, change and personal growth

  • The need, the eagerness and the desire for far-away places in a complex social environment

  • Imaginaries and dreams in the digital era, hyper-organized travels and new digital nomads

  • The quest for "virgin" nature (wilderness), the call of the wild and open spaces.

  • Proximity and far-away places, sedentary and nomadic people: A conceivable, possible or feasible middle way?

  • The re-weaving of the worlds: the new quest for meaningful acts and well doing

  • Forgotten, lost and hidden islands and archipelagos, withdrawing from society

  • The "MacGyver system”, a new era of travels or a nomadic utopia?

  • Utopias, imaginary of travels and tourism; two poles of the same planet in motion?

  • Opposing nature and culture in the quest for new tourism paradises

  • Geo-histories of travel and utopias around the world and through the centuries

  • Adventures: a reservoir for utopia?

  • Travelling: a possible political utopia?

  • Tourism and the end of travelling, quantity versus quality?

  • The trip, the ultimate avatar of tourism based on meetings and sharing, new forms of utopia in a complex geopolitical situation

  • What will be the utopias and dreams of escape of tomorrow?


  • December 15th, 2016: deadline for submitting article proposals

  • May 31st, 2017: deadline for submitting articles

  • June 2017- August 2017: peer review of submitted articles

  • October 2017: publication of the special issue

Coordinators of the issue


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