Tears in Rain: Tourism in the World of Blade Runner and Total Recall

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


‘I have seen things you can’t possibly imagine’ utters the character Roy Batty in the film Blade Runner (1982). This chapter addresses the worlds and their technology as depicted in the science fiction works Blade Runner and Total Recall (both films based on the literary publications of sci-fi author Philip K Dick) and their impact and influence on tourism. Realms populated by replicants (artificial humans), flying cars, holograms and memory implants of experiences and places that were never actually visited. Parallels are drawn with our own world and how advancing technological developments bring us ever closer to the visions depicted in these once science fiction worlds. Our airlines and hotels have been experimenting with robots for check-in, online chatbots to deal with customer queries, keyless check-in through smartphones in hotels, the development of self-driving cars, the increasing use of VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality), developments in AI (artificial intelligence) and the increasing connectivity amongst myriad devices (dubbed the Internet of Things) mean we are changing the face of tourism, enabling people to see and do things that not very long ago, they couldn’t possibly imagine. This brings enormous benefits and the possibility for great positive change. It also carries with it a dark side, with many inherent dangers. Some, such as the threat to people’s jobs and livelihoods from AI programs, robots and machines of various kinds, are already apparent. Yet further dangers lurk in the background. As such this chapter addresses where the rapid increases in technology innovation and development currently being experienced are leading us within the realm of tourism. Using science fiction works such as Blade Runner and Total Recall and the worlds they portray, the chapter takes their depiction of technology and examines from a futures perspective how this will shape the tourism industry and the tourist experience in our own world.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationScience Fiction, Disruption and Tourism
PublisherChannel View Publications/Multilingual Matters
Number of pages118
ISBN (Print)978-1-84541-866-3
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 20 Dec 2021


  • science fiction
  • film tourism
  • digital tourism
  • virtual reality
  • artifical intelligence
  • digital connectivity
  • blade runner
  • future tourism
  • tourism


Dive into the research topics of 'Tears in Rain: Tourism in the World of Blade Runner and Total Recall'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this