OverTourism, Solutions

These pages have been created to enable the easy sharing of experience in managing overtourism and avoiding it. There is a typology of approaches which provides an index and wherever possible a link to where further information can be found and where possible a contact.

If you have strategies or methods which you would like to see included here please email harold@haroldgoodwin.info Your contribution will be acknowledged

The limits to growth are not just an issue for travel and tourism as the Wall Street Journal has described tourism as currently “generating a global backlash”.  Responsible Tourism is about using tourism to make better places for people to live in and to visit. Overtourism is the antithesis to this, tourism is using the place and degrading it.

Overtourism describes destinations where hosts or guests, locals or visitors, feel that there are too many visitors and that the quality of life in the area or the quality of the experience has deteriorated unacceptably. It is the opposite of Responsible Tourism which is about using tourism to make better places to live in and better places to visit. Often both visitors and guests experience the deterioration concurrently.

The problem is not going to go away – we need to work out how to cope with it. The challenge for businesses and destination marketing organisations is that they no longer have a free hand to use the places that people live and work in to attract visitors. The residents, whose place it is, are beginning to rebel and consumers are all too aware that some destinations are not what they were. The challenge now is to develop ways of “Coping with Success”, addressing overtourism.


Essential Preconditions

Barcelona & Kerala ####

Shared/reliable common information
Effective management action involving diverse stakeholders requires shared data. Dichter, a senior partner of McKinsey & Company consultancy, says that “We talk to so many people in the tourism ecosystem and no one has the same facts – not even close,” …  “If you can’t even agree on how many tourists are showing up, it’s very difficult to have a proper debate.” More Only with good data is it possible to identify benefits and costs and develop management strategies to rebalance tourism.

Shared, publicly available, reliable data has been a major plank of Barcelona’s efforts to address overtourism. ##


Limits of Acceptable Change
Identify key indicators for the destination which identify the emerging issues so that they can be addressed. The growth of unlicensed tourist accommodation and change of use for the housing stock, changing retail offer, rising local housing costs, litter, trampling, crowding… choose the locally significant issues and problems.

Temporary Residents
Changing the nature of tourism and the visitor experience by managing the destination to attract visitors as temporary residents. This strategy can change the dynamics of tourism and the host-guest relationship.

Tourist Tax

Supply-side initiatives

Deregulated housing markets can attract international investors causing inflation in housing costs and holiday rentals can be far more lucrative tha letting to residents and families.

Demand-side initiatives

Discourage “Bad” Tourists and Tourism
Banning stag nights and hen dos. In Barcelona, it is known as “turismo de Borrachera” travelling to another place to behave in ways you would not do where you are known. This does not always require travel across an international boundary.

Change Tourist Behaviour throuh marketing and advice


Pricing and Rationing

Managing activity in the destination

Municipal Regulation
Examples where a local government organisation has taken a holistic approach to the management of tourism in the destination as has been the case in, for example, Barcelona and Sagada in the Philippines.

Dispersal – Spatial 
Spread the tourist out by encouraging them to visit less visited places, there may well be districts and areas where people would like to see more tourists, boost less popular attractions and develop new ones. Paris has done this effectively for many years. Barcelona is has adopted spatial dispersal as part of its strategy and Helsinki has encouraged citizens to engage in invite tourists to visit their favourinte places.

Dispersal – temporal
Attracting tourists to visit at other times of the year, week and day to disperse the positive and negative impacts of tourism


Goodwin H (2018)Managing Tourism in Barcelona 2nd Edition
Goodwin H (2017) The Challenge of Overtourism 
McKinsey & WTTC (2017) Coping with success: Managing overcrowding in tourism destinations