nanotourism is a constructed term describing a creative critique to the current environmental, social and economic downsides of conventional tourism, as a participatory, locally oriented, bottom-up alternative. nanotourism is beyond tourism, it is more an attitude to improve specific everyday environments and to open up new local economies.
the term tourist is increasingly used pejoratively, to imply a shallow interest in the cultures or environments. no one wants to be a tourist any more, but prefers to be a traveller, passenger, guest... instead of superficial one-way observation, one participates, exchanges or co-creates in a two-way relationship and evolves to nanotourist.
involve, participate and become a nanotourist everywhere, even in your own city, town, street or home!
naming it nanotourism is a useful way of making this activity more visible and subject to discussion and debate. it works as an association to nanotechnology as organisation of matter at the atomic and molecular scale, essentially by bottom-up construction method. pre-fix nano in nanotourism implies bottom-up processes, not visible to a human eye, as new operational models of tourism.
as a tool
nanotourism operates as a social tool to stimulate mutual interaction between provider and user by co-creation or exchange of knowledge. It is not about scale, but is a projected ability to construct responsible experiences from the bottom-up, using local resources.
after decades of a booming tourism industry with wide impacts on territories and economies all over the world, are there smaller-scale, non-intrusive ways of promoting tourism? can we go past being tourists? driven by Participatory Action Research principles, these questions activate the systematic research and design process of nanotourism, challenging visitors and locals to deepen their knowledge, experience and understanding of the world.
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
–– Buckminster Fuller
Aljoša Dekleva, Tina Gregorič, nanotourism, Museum of Architecture and Design (MAO), Ilica: 2014