Munich Personal RePEc Archive

From overtourism to sustainability: A research agenda for qualitative tourism development in the Adriatic

Benner, Maximilian (2019): From overtourism to sustainability: A research agenda for qualitative tourism development in the Adriatic.

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Abstract

This paper discusses the nexus between economically-driven tourism development and broader societal aspects of social, cultural and ecological sustainability. The paper argues that similar to the discussion on the limits to growth in industrial development that started in the 1970s, the currently debated phenomenon of overtourism calls for a parallel discussion in tourism development. Similar to the argument that industrial development needs to be driven by qualitative, not quantitative growth, tourism development has to reorient itself away from the goal of ever-increasing tourist arrivals towards broader objectives of socially, culturally and ecologically sustainable qualitative growth. This argument leads to two policy implications. First, policymakers should consider which forms of tourism to encourage and which ones to discourage. Second, tourism policy should set incentives and disincentives accordingly. Institutional approaches from human geography can serve to analyze the prospects of these incentives and disincentives, and insights from behavioral economics such as the nudging approach can serve to shape policies accordingly. The paper takes the cases of two cities on the Adriatic sea, Venice and Dubrovnik, as examples.

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