NS29 Session 22

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Title: Overtourism: Challenges and possibilities in precarious times 

Organisers: Gustaf Onn, Saeid Abbasian & Per Strömberg

Affiliation: Södertörn University & University of South-Eastern Norway


As the theme of this year’s Symposium states, the industry of tourism is facing increasing wariness with respect to unsustainable behaviour. At the same time globalisation and increasing consolidation of tourism industries, due to competitive pressure, begs questions of among other things sustenance, which together tend to create asymmetries in negotiating power, where host communities’ representatives tend to accept bids from large multinational operators, while the local population not necessarily approves of increased tourist visitation. There are debates within destinations whether overtourism is at hand or not, and it is not uncommon that views of those benefitting from tourism differ from the views of those who do not. Overtourism has become a somewhat pejorative concept, implying destination development as something negative. It is however not necessarily the case that the issue should be reducing the amount of visitation, but better management of visitation may solve the downsides experienced. Planning procedures and legislation may need scrutinization to clarify how to manage increasing visitation. Despite increase in the number of recent research on overtourism the issue is still under-researched. As a result, there is still need for more research on what constitutes the thresholds of overtourism, and how tourism can be planned and managed to avoid problems. Issues like; what are, who benefits and who carries the costs are likely to be future key factors when planning for tourism arrivals in destinations approaching their carrying capacity.

This session welcomes presentations of both conceptual and empirical nature that address issues related to overtourism. Topics may be found within but not limited to the following themes:

• Conceptual issues of overtourism
• Definitions and indicators of overtourism
• Destination experience of overtourism
• Stakeholder groupings with respect to overtourism
• Tourism planning and visitor stream management issues related to overtourism


Abstract submission