The introductory chapter traces tourism conceptually and historically, and provides a theoretical review of the anthropology of tourism from its gestation in 1974. It locates the ethnographic case studies that follow within a literature of front and back stage tropes and tourist imaginaries, and highlights their positioning of tourism as co-constructed and imagined within state development policies and global structures. At a time when the tourism industry is “overbooked,” creating a backlash to tourism across the planet, a case is made that this is a perfect moment for an anthropology of tourism that recognizes and troubles the imaginaries of our travel bucket lists.