Research Output

Signals and Signposts of the Future: Literary Festival Consumption in 2050

  This conceptual paper uses a scenario planning process to facilitate possible futures for literary festivals, a form of festival tourism that has grown rapidly in the developed and developing countries of the world in the early decades of the 21st Century and which continues to grow towards 2050. The paper addresses this in the context of two significant cities, Shanghai - a megacity in China, and Melbourne, the capital city of Victoria, Australia. The paper offers two scenarios for literary festivals, one drawn from science fiction and the other from a process of prognosis. The aim of this work is to contribute to research in festival tourism studies by exploring the signposts and signals that may confer the future role, form and function of literature and the format and activity of literary festivals and literary festival tourism in a changing world. Utilizing Signals and Signposts, the work contributes to the body of work which seeks strategic responses to rapid change, rapid urbanization and possible zones of uncertainty that may await literary festivals and associated tourism and community activity in the future.

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  • Date:

    31 January 2014

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  • Library of Congress:

    GV Recreation Leisure

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    338.4791 Tourist industry

  • Funders:

    Historic Funder (pre-Worktribe)


Robertson, M., & Yeoman, I. (2014). Signals and Signposts of the Future: Literary Festival Consumption in 2050. Tourism Recreation Research, 39(3), 321-342.



festival tourism; Shanghai; Melbourne; future role; community activity; tourists; planning

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