This article examines the link between tourism studies and dystopian sf cinema, placing particular emphasis upon the concept of ‘authenticity’. Arguing that both fields share similar concerns, chief amongst them being the construction and understanding of space, both physical and imagined, it will seek to decode cultural, political and economic binaries that modulate popular conceptions of location and travel. Such an approach, it will be argued, can allow for new analyses of dystopian narratives, as will be illustrated with reference to prominent contemporary examples of the genre. Framing its argument within sociological and historical contexts, the article will combine tourism theory with textual analysis to shed fresh light on these productions and the film industry at large. In combining these two levels of discussion, the article will evaluate the mutation of tourist tropes in popular British cinema when continually exposed to defining external events.