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Sustainable Visitor Management to Mitigate Overtourism: What, Who and How

Overtourism as Destination Risk

ISBN: 978-1-83909-707-2, eISBN: 978-1-83909-706-5

Publication date: 13 May 2021


The increasing need for the prevention and management of overtourism calls for more and improved visitor management (VM). Certain types of destinations or sites have implemented VM, such as nature parks that depict more controllable environments and involve only limited and clearly defined actors. Academic research on VM has mainly addressed protected areas and national parks, with a focus on environmental sustainability. The growing discussions around the term overtourism, in contrast, have largely centred around urban areas and the impacts on local societies, and, thus, socio-cultural sustainability. This chapter's overall aim is to provide a comprehensive overview of the status quo and knowledge gaps related to stakeholder involvement in VM in the broader context of overtourism. We ask who, how and in what areas stakeholders should be involved in VM. A systematic literature review was conducted using Scopus and Web of Science databases. The findings demonstrate that most studies applied a narrow and fragmented approach that focussed on one or a few stakeholders. Moreover, the strategies were mostly reactive instead of preventive and followed top-down approaches. Conflicts between stakeholders reveal risks to sustainable destination development, trigger overtourism debates and call for new approaches to VM. The chapter proposes a framework that suggests the chief VM responsibilities and stakeholders, concentrating on destination organisations, governments and residents. Also, it provides examples of participative methods, illuminates that VM should be proactive, sustainable and holistic and proposes better integration with destination management and local community governance.



Høegh-Guldberg, O., Seeler, S. and Eide, D. (2021), "Sustainable Visitor Management to Mitigate Overtourism: What, Who and How", Sharma, A. and Hassan, A. (Ed.) Overtourism as Destination Risk (Tourism Security-Safety and Post Conflict Destinations), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 167-186.



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