Developing Sustainable Policies in Response to Overtourism

Developing Sustainable Policies in Response to Overtourism

Kadir Çakar (Mardin Artuklu University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2224-0.ch001


This chapter deals with and underscores sustainable policy responses towards overtourism, which is becoming an increasingly important issue for the survival of tourist destinations. Based on the current literature, this chapter proposes a wide range of policy responses that can be adapted by a variety of elements in tourist destinations, ranging from stakeholders to local residents. As a consequence, the measures and strategies in response to the overtourism phenomenon can expand our understanding of the concept.
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Defining Overtourism

The contemporary debate on overtourism and the related term, the anti-tourist movement, has led to a redefinition of tourism development and planning issues (Panayiotopoulos & Pisano, 2019). It has also drawn attention due to its adverse impact on society and the environment, stemming from overcrowding, which is closely linked to and derived from mass tourism (Jacobsen et al., 2019; Koens et al., 2018; Martín Martín et al., 2018). The concept of overtourism is described as “the phenomenon of a popular destination or sight becoming overrun with tourists in an unsustainable way” (Collins Online Dictionary, 2019). This concept is closely related to a carrying capacity that is exceeded by destinations hosting an excessive number of visitors (Cheer et al., 2019), and is associated with tourism growth (Gonzalez et al., 2018).

By bringing a distinct perspective, Cheer, Milano and Novelli (2019) put forwards the approach of temporal overtourism. According to the authors, the temporal overtourism concept refers to a seasonal overcrowding problem that mostly emerges during peak holiday seasons or periods.

In their study, Namberger, Jackisch, Schmude and Karl (2019) noted two main types of resident typology towards the overtourism phenomenon, namely, the “mass tourism avoider” and the “tourism sympathizer”. The authors reported that travellers representing the “mass tourism avoider” type often prefer to stay in less crowded places as compared to tourists who fall within the typology of “tourism sympathizer”.

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