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Reasons and Consequences of Overtourism in Contemporary Cities—Knowledge Gaps and Future Research

Michał Żemła ()
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Michał Żemła: Department of Tourism and Regional Studies, Pedagogical University in Cracow, 30-084 Cracow, Poland

Sustainability, 2020, vol. 12, issue 5, 1-1

Abstract: Even though overtourism became the object of extensive scientific research only three years ago, different definitions and approaches to the issue can be seen. However, it is still in the initial phase of research, and there are numerous gaps in our knowledge of the reasons and solutions to this issue. The main aim of the paper is to summarize different approaches and points of view on the overtourism issue. This includes searching for reasons of tension between tourists and visitors in particular destinations. They are presented partially in tourism literature but also in the literature dealing with urban studies, sustainable development and other areas. This aim was achieved through a literature review and the deduction method. The paper identifies several different factors that stimulate overtourism. Some of them are acknowledged in most publications. They are a growing number of tourists, new solutions in the information technologies (IT) business and the availability of cheap flights. Other factors such as management mistakes in particular destinations are underlined from time to time. Finally, some factors are expressed very rarely. They are the growing popularity of city tourism and the shift from 3S (sea, sun and sand) to 3E (education, experience, entertainment) tourism. Identification and general overview of those factors is intended to be an important contribution to the contemporary scientific knowledge on overtourism. The analysis of the factors recognized allowed to point out significant weaknesses of our contemporary knowledge on overtourism. A radical shift of the approach to the governance of cities as tourism destinations, as well as filling theoretical gaps and creating effective tools to manage tourism development in cities are postulated. Several directions of the future research are presented in the conclusions of the paper. Some practical recommendations for decision-makers in particular cities are also included.

Keywords: overtourism; tourism-phobia; tourism in cities; tourist gentrification; impact of tourism; experience economy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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