Skip to Main Content

About The Book

A brilliantly evocative, surprising, and page-turning exploration of how tourism has shaped the world, for better and for worse—essential reading for anyone looking for a deeper understanding of the implications of their wanderlust.

Through deep and perceptive dispatches from tourist spots around the globe—from Hawaii to Saudi Arabia, Amsterdam to Angkor Wat—The New Tourist lifts the veil on an industry that accounts for one in ten jobs worldwide and generates nearly ten percent of global GDP. How did a once-niche activity become the world’s most important means of contact across cultures? When does tourism destroy the soul of a city, and when does it offer a place a new lease on life? Is “last chance tourism” prompting a powerful change in perspective, or driving places we love further into the ground?

Filled with revelations about an industry that shapes how we view the world, The New Tourist spotlights painful truths but also delivers a message of hope: that the right kind of tourism—and the right kind of tourist—can be a powerful force for good.

About The Author

Photograph by Alex Crétey Systermans

Paige McClanahan is an American journalist based in France. A regular contributor to The New York Times, she has reported from more than a dozen countries, writing for publications like The Guardian, the BBC, and The Washington Post, among many others. Her reporting has covered multilateral trade negotiations, humanitarian crises, economic development, and, for the past five years, the tourism industry. Her travel journalism has been recognized by The Society of American Travel Writers and the North American Travel Journalists Association. A graduate of Williams College and Duke University, she has lived in five countries since she left the United States in 2008.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Scribner (July 18, 2024)
  • Length: 288 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781668011775

Browse Related Books

Raves and Reviews

“[A] fun and breezy way of looking at different aspects of modern travel.”
—Alex Schwartz, The New Yorker’s “Critics at Large”

“[A] nuanced approach to tourism is baked into the premise of The New Tourist… yet McClanahan remains unwavering in her belief that tourism can be a net good.”
Condé Nast Traveler

“Proposes a genuinely helpful framework for thinking about our own voyages…Traveling, McClanahan suggests, helps people more keenly discern the difference between a state’s positions and the culture of its people by seeing it with their own eyes.”
—The Atlantic

“Insightful … [A] smart balance of informed critique and hopeful discussions of the travel industry’s potential for positive change. It’s a trip worth taking.”
Publishers Weekly

“Opens a world of conversation about the role of travel…McClanahan's approach is to sit with strangers from both sides of the argument—those cautious of over-tourism and those excited for tourism’s expansion—resulting in a comprehensive understanding.”

“Engaging and thoughtful….An instructive engagement with the world of travel writing and a first-class exemplar of its practice.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“MANY TRAVEL BOOKS TELL YOU WHERE TO GO. THIS ONE TELLS YOU HOW TO GO….The New Tourist will change the way you think about travel. A must read for anyone planning a journey near or far.”
—Eric Weiner, New York Times bestselling author of The Geography of Bliss

“As you’ll discover here, there’s plenty of good and bad in modern tourism, but the mixture is, in this author’s hands, A FASCINATING READ.”
—Tony Wheeler, cocreator of the Lonely Planet guidebook series

“With infectious curiosity and clear-eyed prose, McClanahan provides EVERYTHING YOU EXPECT FROM THE BEST OF TRAVEL—fascinating scenery to gawk at, rich history to imbibe, and eccentric characters to meet….The New Tourist fulfills the true transformative promise of travel, giving us not just new ideas, but new ways of seeing ourselves.”
—Benjamin Lorr, author of The Secret Life of Groceries

“In this LIVELY AND REWARDING book, Paige McClanahan wrestles with the complexities of twenty-first century tourism, deftly exploring the joys and the real-world consequences of world travel. I highly recommend The New Tourist.
—Elizabeth Becker, author of Overbooked: The Exploding Business of Travel and Tourism

“In The New Tourist, Paige McClanahan takes us on a many-faceted journey through the vast and complex world of the tourism industry—and like all great tour guides, she makes the trip ACCESSIBLE, MEANINGFUL, AND FUN.”
Rick Steves, author of Travel as a Political Act: A Radical Guide to Meaningful Travel

“A REMARKABLE READ—neither travel guide nor social history but a thoughtful and deeply researched amalgam covering the symbiosis of traveler and destination and their effect on each other's souls.”
—Catherine Watson, author of Roads Less Traveled: Dispatches from the Ends of the Earth

“AN ENGROSSING JOURNEY through the rise of mass tourism in the 20th century and the forces threatening it in the 21st ….Paige McClanahan makes a powerful argument for a new kind of tourist and with it a new way of seeing the world.”
—Sarah Stodola, author of The Last Resort

“An essential reconsideration of the impacts of tourism in our increasingly connected times…. It’s about time that someone wrote this book, but only McClanahan would have made it so DAMN ENTERTAINING.”
—Thomas Kohnstamm, novelist and author of Do Travel Writers Go to Hell?

“A THOUGHT PROVOKING, FASCINATING, AND VERY READABLE book for anyone who travels, wants to travel more mindfully, works in the tourism industry, or is interested in countries and destinations around the world—so, pretty much everyone.”
—Eliza Reid, First Lady of Iceland, former UN Ambassador for Tourism

“Travel has changed radically over a generation while its impact on the world has grown. If you want a FRESH AND NUANCED take on what it all means, buy this book. McClanahan is an embodiment of the New Tourist herself— thoughtfully traveling the world with curiosity and an open heart. I’d follow her anywhere.”
—Ethan Watters, author of Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche

“GROUNDBREAKING. The New Tourist will enable you to have much better travel experiences. McClanahan understands that what we make of tourism has to do with the ways we interact and behave when we holiday in other peoples' homes. The choices we make about how, when, and where we travel make a real difference in whether we have positive or negative impacts.”
—Harold Goodwin, Professor Emeritus at Manchester Metropolitan University and Director of the Responsible Tourism Partnership

Resources and Downloads

High Resolution Images