Demarketing tourism for sustainability: Degrowing tourism or moving the deckchairs on the titanic?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Demarketing is generally recognized as that aspect of marketing that aims at discouraging customers in general or a certain class of customers in particular on either a temporary or permanent basis and has been increasingly posited as a potential tool to degrow tourism and improve its overall sustainability, particularly as a result of so-called overtourism. The paper provides an overview of the various ways in which demarketing has been applied in a tourism context and assesses the relative value of demarketing as a means of contributing to sustainability and degrowing tourism. It is argued that demarketing can make a substantial contribution to degrowing tourism at a local or even regional scale, but that the capacity to shift visitation in space and time also highlights a core weakness with respect to its contribution at other scales. The paper concludes by noting that the concept of degrowth also needs to be best understood as a continuum of which demarketing is only one aspect.


  • C. Michael Hall
  • Kimberley J. Wood
External organisations
  • Canterbury University
  • University of Oulu
  • Linnaeus University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Economic Geography
  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


  • Downstream demarketing, Social marketing, Sustainable tourism, Tourism system, Upstream demarketing
Original languageEnglish
Article number1585
Number of pages15
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Publication categoryResearch