Library image, photo by Alireza Attari on Unsplash

Autonomous vehicles and the future of urban tourism

15 January, 2019

Autonomous vehicles and the future of urban tourism

Debbie Hopkins

Research paper   Digital Society

Scott Cohen and Debbie Hopkins

Connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) have the potential to disrupt all industries tied to transport, including tourism. This conceptual paper breaks new ground by providing an in-depth imaginings approach to the potential future far-reaching implications of CAVs for urban tourism. Set against key debates in urban studies and urban tourism, we discuss the enchantments and apprehensions surrounding CAVs and how they may impact cities in terms of tourism transport mode use, spatial changes, tourism employment and the night-time visitor economy, leading to new socio-economic opportunities and a range of threats and inequities. We provide a concluding agenda that sets the foundation for a new research sub-field on CAVs and tourism, of relevance to urban planners, policymakers and the tourism industry.

Publication details

Cohen, S. and Hopkins, D. 2019. Autonomous vehicles and the future of urban tourism. Annals of Tourism Research, 74: 33-42. doi: 10.1016/j.annals.2018.10.009 

Banner photo credit: Alireza Attari on Unsplash