The IPM’s Visiting Places Special Interest Group is delighted to share with you some new resources.

Launched by SIG Chair Dr Heather Skinner, IPM Senior Fellow, at yesterday’s Research Seminar, these resources take the form of a toolkit helping explain, understand, and begin to deal with destinations who are facing difficulties coping with success.

2017 brought 538 million international tourists into Europe, which is a rise of at least 4% each year overall over the last 8 years but reaching double digits in some destinations. Tourism to the European Union now accounts for 40% of the world’s total (UNWTO, 2018a). That summer 2017 was dubbed “the summer of overtourism”. International tourism arrivals worldwide are expected to continue to grow at an average of 3.3% per year up to 2030, and tourism is also extending into places around the globe that have been less visited in the past.

Each type of tourism destination is facing different problems relating to their success in attracting tourists. For example, areas of outstanding natural beauty, heritage sites, and sites of ecological biodiversity can be destroyed by the very nature of attracting unsustainable numbers of tourists. Many Mediterranean coastal destinations are being transformed into tourist-focused ‘strips’ of large hotels (often transformed into all-inclusive resorts), bars and restaurants that have no real relevance to the place in which they are located, and / or may be serving groups of tourists who behave irresponsibly indulging in illegal and or risky behaviours such as excessive drinking, sexual activity, or drug taking.

European city destinations that are highly successful are facing protests from residents due to overcrowding. While the popular media tends to aggregate these issues, offering generalisations concerning both the issues, consequences and potential solutions for destinations regardless of their differences, the academic literature on the other hand tends to focus on individual destinations, or on only one type of destination. This leads to a lack of understanding of both the common problems and potential solutions, and also to the specific problems and potential solutions facing specific types of tourism destination.

This toolkit of resources and reference sources will explore both the positive and negative aspects of success for a range of destinations around the world. Information contained in this toolkit has been drawn from academic sources, industry sources and the popular media in order to help unpack the various aspects of the phenomena of ‘overtourism’ and ‘tourismphobia’ including, but not necessarily limited to overcrowding; increased road traffic; limited facilities for everyone to use; rising housing costs for residents; environmental degradation; tourists’ inappropriate behaviour; issues with Airbnb and cruise tourism, etc, and attempt to map the antecedents, consequences, and potential strategies for coping with success for each of these in turn.

The toolkit will also identify areas of commonality and areas of difference for various types of tourism destination, and also conclude with the various different strategies that may be adopted for each type of place and each type of problem, and will offer a useful starting point for both academics and practitioners to understand the issues under investigation, and where destination management lessons may be learned from other not only similar, but also different types of places.

TOOLKIT CONTENTS

  1. INTRODUCTION. Coping with success:  A toolkit of resources for understanding and managing “overtourism”
  2. DEFINITIONS. What is overtourism?
  3. COMMONALITIES. The positive and negative aspects of destination success
  4. CASE STUDIES. Overtoutism: Place-based case studies
  5. POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS. Overtourism responses and how to manage the issues
  6. RESOURCES. References, resources and further reading

You can find the toolkit On the IPM webpages via the Visiting Places SIG resources on Coping With Success. See the full toolkit at this link /special-interest-groups/overtourism-resources/