Issues of global distribution, social justice and environmental concern increasingly surround international tourism and travel. Not only are such issues defining new forms of tourism, they are also shaping far more fluid patterns of production and consumption. Processes of regulation, rationalisation and re-structuring are being re-cast in line with the highly complex and dynamic formation of informal structures, communicative practices, junctures and ruptures in a touristic world that escapes modernist notions of political economy. Destinations are being defined beyond the material notions of the nation-state, traditional mobilities are being challenged, motivations tested, and new forms of exchange are emerging in line with inter-and intra generational ethical thinking, and alternative political approaches to development.
A new weblog, based at the Centre for Tourism and Cultural Change (CTCC) at Leeds Metropolitan University, has been devised to interrogate the ‘new economics of tourism’ (N.E.T) – to transcend the narrow boundaries of contemporary tourism economics. N.E.T is a tool for networking and exchange between scholars and students reflecting on aspects of the new economics of tourism. From the operation of informal economies in tourism, to the alternative economics of exchange in ‘Volun-tourism’; from film and digital media’s post-geographical definition of destinations, to the individual bargaining of loss and gain in the expectation and practice of the journey, and the role of dreamscapes and virtual worlds in the tourist exchange, N.E.T seeks to provide a forum to explore original, alternative and challenging practices of, and approaches to, global tourism in the material, intangible and symbolic sense.
Contributions are invited from an international, multi-disciplinary range of scholars and institutions. N.E.T provides a convenient and illuminating proximity of breaking international news and lasting reflections on the issues addressed and serves as a global networking tool and as a resource for stakeholders in the expanding field of exchange and transformation that characterises global tourism. Proposals to contribute and participate are welcome.