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The phenomena of overtourism: a review

Rachel Dodds (School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada)
Richard Butler (Strathclyde Business School, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK)

International Journal of Tourism Cities

ISSN: 2056-5607

Article publication date: 8 October 2019

Issue publication date: 3 December 2019




The purpose of this paper is to examine the emergence of overtourism, outline the issues and contributing factors, as it relates to cities, and to suggest possible mitigation measures that might be taken by policy makers.


This paper draws from a review of literature looking at longitudinal issues of tourism development overtime and what has contributed to the phenomena of overtourism. A discussion of implications is provided from this review.


As tourism is an industry which has historically been poorly managed, greater political will and actual acknowledgement of the problem, as well as action by all levels of government are the necessary first steps to address overtourism.

Practical implications

This paper outlines key elements that contribute to overtourism and provides global examples which may help practitioners identify key critical issues in their own destinations and identify appropriate actions.

Social implications

This paper identifies issues raised by local resident populations and possible responses.


This paper provides a critical overview of overtourism issues, as it relates to cities and discusses potential mitigation and reduction efforts, thereby providing an explanation of why overtourism has become so prevalent.



Dodds, R. and Butler, R. (2019), "The phenomena of overtourism: a review", International Journal of Tourism Cities, Vol. 5 No. 4, pp. 519-528.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, International Tourism Studies Association

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