Situating overtourism in urban contexts

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


One of the most important trends in contemporary tourism is the increase in urban tourism, both in absolute and in relative terms. In some destinations, e.g. Barcelona, the pressure from tourism on local resources such as housing and urban space has reached a point where we begin to speak about overtourism. The development of overtourism is related to decreasing relative costs of travel, e.g. low-cost aviation, and increasingly accessible forms of cheap accommodation, such as Airbnb.
Based on a literature review, this presentation has three aims. Firstly, to conceptualize overtourism, to see what issues it aims to describe, and how it relates to a more general discussion about urban sustainable tourism. Secondly, to situate overtourism by investigating in what geographical contexts it has been used. This will be discussed in terms of geographical scales and territorial levels. Finally, it aims to suggest a framework, by which the concept of overtourism could be put in a context of a more general discussion on urban sustainable tourism.
It will be argued that the current debate about overtourism is too much focused on localized spatial conflicts, primarily concerning social sustainability. Thereby, urgent issues related to the global environmental impact of urban tourism, i.e. climate change, is at risk of being put in the background.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Economic Geography


  • tourism georgaphy, urban geography
Translated title of the contributionÖverturism i städer, en situationsanalys
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch
EventBetween overtourism and undertourism: Implications and crisis management strategies - Puglia, Italy
Duration: 2019 Jun 262019 Jun 29


ConferenceBetween overtourism and undertourism
Internet address