nanotourism is a new, 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.

www.nanotourism.org is an open research platform to share, promote and grow nanotourism as a new collective awareness.

What is nanotourism?

nanotourism is a new, 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. Defining nanotourism runs twofold: by finding and learning from existing examples and by identifying and creating new site-specific experiences. It 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. Nanotourism is beyond tourism, it is more an attitude to improve specific everyday environments and to open up new local economies.

Hacking the definition of Critical Design from Anthony Dunne & Fiona Raby by replacing critical design with nanotourism and design with tourism:
What is nanotourism?
Nanotourism uses speculative design proposals to challenge narrow assumptions, preconceptions and givens about the role tourism play in everyday life. It is more of an attitude than anything else, a position rather than a method. There are many people doing this who have never heard of the term nanotourism and who have their own way of describing what they do. Naming it nanotourism is simply a useful way of making this activity more visible and subject to discussion and debate.

Nanotourism is critical, but primarily bottom-up. Therefore 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.

Aljoša Dekleva and Tina Gregorič

Who is a nanotourist?

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!

When is nanotourism?

After decades of a booming tourism industry with wide impact on territories and economies all over the world, are there smaller-scale, non-intrusive ways of tourism?

Nanotourism was in a process of working theory during BIO50 - 24th Biennial of Design Ljubljana, Slovenia from February until September 2014. The international team of experts, designers and architects was intensely defining the term and notion of nanotourism, first as part of a larger collaborative of the Biennial and then during the AA Visiting School Slovenia 2014 both led by mentors Aljoša Dekleva and Tina Gregorič.

What is the challenge of nanotourism? How can nanotourism improve the world? These initial questions activated the systematic research process of defining nanotourism: by finding and learning from existing examples and by identifying new potentials of nanotourism on several sites in the region and creating new experiences though a set of case studies. Driven by Participatory Action Research principles they offer open source models of nanotourism establishing new local economies and offering visitors and locals to deepen their knowledge, experience and understanding of the world.

nanotourism is | is not dictionary:

critical | conformist
confronting current realities and presumptions of tourism

participatory | passive
fostering co-creation and exchange between users and providers

bottom-up | top-down
processing local information to form higher level systems

site-specific | site-generic
extremely responsive to contexts, therefore perpetually unique

local | global
produced with local support and supporting locals

social | unsocial
collaborative, community oriented and relating to people

responsible | irresponsible
non-intrusively related to the community and environment

inventive | conventional
progressive, adding new values and creating fresh potentials

educative | non-educative
volunteering knowledge exchange and creating development

Where is nanotourism?

Process diagram

diagram