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The Overtourism Debate

The Overtourism Debate - Jeroen Oskam
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Many cities focused on tourist development and city marketing to keep their economies afloat during the financial crisis of 2008-2013, but the subsequent economic recovery saw a combination of growing visitor numbers, changing behavior patterns and price hikes, especially in real estate, that created the conditions for a 'perfect storm'. Anti-tourism protests have emerged and have even started to dominate the political debate in cities around the world, especially in Europe. Cities such as Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin and Lisbon have developed policies to mitigate the negative externalities of tourism growth for their residents. Jeroen Oskam's wide ranging work examines many of the most important issues in the debate on overtourism including:

  • crowdedness and competition between tourists and locals in the use of city services
  • displacement of services catering to locals by tourist amenities
  • cultural or physical alienation
  • protests against overtourism often associate the phenomenon with the presence of urban vacation rentals
  • measures against overtourism, e.g. restrictions on short-term rentals, access restrictions, economic measures and reconducting tourist streams.

The academic debate in this book spans multiple disciplines, such as Tourism, Geography, Urban Planning, Law and Economics. The approaches are equally varied: while many Tourism scholars try to save or justify tourism growth, Urban Planners may preferably seek to prevent gentrification, to minimize tourism externalities and to 'return' the city to its residents. The purpose of this book is to include the different positions in the debate; to give insight in the potential future evolution of the phenomenon; to propose policies and strategies and to identify underlying mechanisms of the massification of travel.


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