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Tyler Cowen

The Future of Travel Is Less Exotic

Fewer Western tourists seem to want to have challenging experiences — and that may be a boon for those of us who do.  

Outside the Golden Temple, May 1, 2022.

Outside the Golden Temple, May 1, 2022.


I am writing this from Amritsar, India, in the state of Punjab. The Sikh Golden Temple here is one of India’s leading attractions, and last night I shared space with thousands of people over the course of four or five hours. In that time, I saw only two people who might qualify as White Westerners.

That simple observation — and my travels over the past year to Denmark, Switzerland, Ireland, Portugal, Mexico, England, Argentina and Colombia — have led me to a theory about the future of travel: The world is entering a new era in which exotic journeys are for more of a travel elite than a moneyed elite.