Overtourism in Megalopolises: The Case of St. Petersburg

Overtourism in Megalopolises: The Case of St. Petersburg

Valery Gordin (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Russia), Irina Borovskaia (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Russia) and Ekaterina Fedorova (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Russia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2224-0.ch007

Abstract

This chapter discusses manifestations of overtourism in the megapolis of St. Petersburg, which is a major cultural and tourist center. The idiosyncratic nature of overtourism in St. Petersburg is due to the fact that serving as its basis are spatial and temporal factors, which cause the city center to be overcrowded during high season. The chapter reviews the major methods of preventing and overcoming overtourism that are being employed in 18 megapolises that are largest tourist centers, and, based on results of the expert questionnaire, the authors identify methods that would be most suitable for St. Petersburg.
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Background

As of today, the overtourism phenomenon is being tackled in official documents as well as in research studies. Thus UNWTO provides the following definition of overtourism, “the impact of tourism on a destination, or parts thereof, that excessively influences perceived quality of life of citizens and/or quality of visitors experiences in a negative way” (World Tourism Organization [UNWTO], Centre of Expertise Leisure, Tourism & Hospitality, NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences & NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences, 2018, p.4). In today’s social context, overtourism is defined, first and foremost, by protests by the local population at the destination against the uncontrollable growth of the number of tourists (Goodwin, 2017).

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