Overtourism vs. Undertourism
In my presentation, I explained the origins of the term overtourism and showed how important it had become in the media for explaining the impacts of tourism. But, I also suggested that the term wasn’t very useful for tourism researchers as we already had some fundamental concepts that helped us to explain these impacts, as well as the destination management knowledge to fix them.
A core part of this presentation was the idea that a lot of the current media reaction to tourism is the very old-fashioned idea that mass tourism and, by extension, mass tourists themselves, are somehow bad for destinations. However, the real issue is how we make sure that we harness the great positive impacts of tourism and manage the negative impacts successfully. I also used examples from UK seaside towns and around the world to suggest that the real danger facing most destinations is actually undertourism.