Flights of fantasy: a reformulation of the flyers’ dilemma

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Young, M, Markham, F, Reis, AC & Higham, JES 2015, 'Flights of fantasy: a reformulation of the flyers’ dilemma', Annals of Tourism Research, vol. 54, pp. 1-15.

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We position pleasure travel within Beck’s risk society as a contradictory form of consumption that simultaneously produces individual pleasure and global environmental risk. We examine the paradoxical emergence of the ‘anxious traveler’ from this contradiction, arguing that this social category is necessary to individualize and apportion the global, environmental risk associated with frequent flying, and hence legitimate the reproduction of unsustainable travel practices. We identify several future scenarios that may synthesize this frequent-flying dialectic. On reflection, these scenarios themselves appear as cultural productions, suggesting that our attempts to imagine the future are crippled by the hegemonic ahistoricism associated with contemporary capitalism.

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