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Fighting overtourism in Lanzarote (Spain)

Rita R. Carballo (University Institute of Tourism and Sustainable Economic Development – TIDES, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain)
Carmelo J. León (University Institute of Tourism and Sustainable Economic Development – TIDES, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain)
María M. Carballo (University Institute of Tourism and Sustainable Economic Development – TIDES, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain)

Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes

ISSN: 1755-4217

Article publication date: 14 October 2019

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Abstract

Purpose

Lanzarote, Spain, as a tourism destination, suffered a rapid tourist expansion for many years, and this has endangered its sustainability. The purpose of this study is to investigate the case of overtourism and its consequences for the local population and the environment, and to identify ways to mitigate this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses a case study approach. Data obtained from tourists visiting the destination were used to examine three key aspects of tourism development, namely, the arrival of tourists to the island, the accommodation offer and the growth of the population. Social awareness with environmental values and protection of the island’s natural resources were the main engine to establish measures to mitigate overtourism.

Findings

The analysis shows rapid growth in the arrival of tourists to the island and how it affected the accommodation offer and the population. It explores the solution that the authorities of the island took to solve the problem of disorganized growth of tourism and makes reference to the importance of managing the image of a destination to contribute to tourism sustainability.

Originality/value

This research proposes practical solutions to tackle overtourism at a destination which has been used by the United Nations as an example to establish sustainable tourism development guidelines. It proposes a unique mitigation strategy which is derived from the use of natural recreation.

Keywords

Citation

Carballo, R.R., León, C.J. and Carballo, M.M. (2019), "Fighting overtourism in Lanzarote (Spain)", Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes, Vol. 11 No. 5, pp. 506-515. https://doi.org/10.1108/WHATT-06-2019-0043

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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