News Tourism, Travel & Festivals

Futures of Travel

In this article

Our Director of Tourism, Travel and Festivals, Joshua Ryan-Saha, is kicking off a new series of talks with leading figures in the Scottish traveltech industry to explore what the future could look like for the sector.

A new series exploring the future through discussion

The Traveltech hub at Edinburgh Futures Institute is hosting a series of 17 lunchtime discussions about ‘Future Travel Narratives’. The livestream conversations aim to use narrative outputs from Traveltech workshops as a stimulus to spark creative, futures-oriented exchanges.

Traveltech Director Joshua Ryan-Saha will lead the conversations with a range of industry specialists and experts in the field – specific to each story.

Over the past twelve months, the Traveltech hub at the Futures Institute hosted workshops that sought to capture the imagination of those currently working within the travel and tourism industry and tap into the sector’s expertise and forecasting across a wide span of issues and trends.

Future Narrative #1: ‘AR Bubble Transport’ was held on 5 February. It featured a conversation with Alex Bainbridge, CEO of Autoura, a Robotaxi tour and AI tourism platform, whose work around autonomous vehicles and the use of AI tour guide platforms within the travel and tourism industry aligned perfectly with the theme of the first event. Read the workshop narrative on the Traveltech website and watch the recording of the livestream conversation on Traveltech’s Youtube channel.

YouTube video

New tech ideas meet innovative futuring methods in Traveltech hub workshops

Using prompts of new technology trends and signals, groups of industry representatives worked together in the workshop formats to develop narratives set in the not-so-distant future, imagining and visualising contrasting versions of their industry in the near future.

Futures exercises are a methodological approach that seek not just to consider predictable trends and obvious paths into the future, but to help participants think creatively about all possibilities— to reclaim imaginative thinking in a bid to see the world with optimism and creativity.

The narratives that emerged from the workshops are full of interesting ideas for possible futures, which Josh and industry guests will explore in a live conversation every week.

Imagining and visualising futures

In the course of the workshops, each narrative was also transformed into an illustration, created by some talented local artists. These illustrations, together with the written narratives, form the bases of the series discussions, with key points being teased out by the weekly guest speaker’s unique perspective as an industry insider.

Tourism and Festivals Director, Joshua Ryan-Saha said:

“I’m really excited about this discussion series which engages with some fascinating provocations through conversations with sector-leading experts. We hope that these discussions will offer a springboard to develop ideas; whether that be to provide inspiration for future start-ups, for policy makers to think about how they would respond to scenarios, or more broadly to provide a strategic context for thinking about how travel may or may not change in the near future. These stories offer a critical tool in helping us plan for and navigate our strategies for the future, informed by changes in the present.”

The next webinar of the Future Travel Narrative series is titled ‘Bol-a-Days.’ This session explored the future of travel in 10 years time, particularly the relationship between Catalonia and Scotland. You can read more about ‘Bol-a-Days’ on the Traveltech webpage, where details of the upcoming webinar will also be posted.

Image: Cat O’Neil

Further information

Future Narrative #1: ‘AR Bubble Transport’ livestream recording

TravelTech Future of Travel webpage

Tourism, Travel, and Festivals – Edinburgh Futures Institute

Josh Ryan-Saha, Edinburgh Futures Institute Director of Travel, Tourism and Festivals

Join us to challenge, create, and make change happen.