The continued massive growth in tourism worldwide is placing unprecedented pressure on destinations. Alarming reports of overtourism have highlighted the serious negative impacts that tourism can have on people’s lifestyles, natural habitats and wildlife, historic sites and essential resources such as water and energy.
Tourism, however big or small, brings both positive and negative impacts to destinations. What ‘overtourism’ highlights is that without careful planning, negative impacts can quickly prevail as tourism grows. This can eventually degrade the destination and lead to the destruction of its assets. But with good destination management, tourism can continue to bring economic rewards for the long term, supporting jobs and employment for local people, as well as funds for conservation.
Our report, ‘The Invisible Burden of tourism’ has highlighted that destination managers need new skills and resources to meet this challenge.