Overtourism: A result of the Janus-faced character of the tourism industry

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Purpose: This paper aims to evaluate the “Janus-faced” character and causes of overtourism to propose recommendations to tackle such a phenomenon. Design/methodology/approach: A case study analysis approach is adopted for this study. Studies of practitioners are presented and reflected upon with reference to academic literature on overtourism. Findings: The study presents practical examples from Haiti, Nicaragua and Zanzibar. Tourism practitioners’ studies on overtourism are presented and general recommendations on tackling overtourism are proposed. Research limitations/implications: This study will be of interest to tourism practitioners and Destination Marketing Organisations (DMOs) worldwide who seek understanding of the overtourism phenomenon and the associated negative impacts. The study provides useful recommendations that can be used in similar situations of overtourism. Originality/value: The paper extends understanding of overtourism causes and consequences. While overtourism is generally looked at from impact studies, this paper argues the urgent need for solutions to tackle the phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)552-565
Number of pages14
JournalWorldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2019


  • Island destinations
  • Janus-faced character
  • Overtourism

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