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Can overtourism be managed?

  • Mihalič, Tanja
  • Kuščer, Kir
Publication Date
Apr 09, 2021
University of Ljubljana
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Purpose This paper aims to present a model to survey if effective destination management can manage (unsustainable) overtourism from the perspective of residents’ quality of life (QOL). Design/methodology/approach A constructivist approach, based on factors taken from conceptual overtourism model (Mihalic, 2020), was used to propose an overtourism QOL management model. Relationships among the factors were analysed with a path analyses model with two second-order latent factors. The model was tested in a real setting, the city of Ljubljana. Findings The proposed theoretical model is comprised of five factors: positive tourism impacts, negative tourism impacts, irritation with overtourism, residents’ QOL and destination management. Empirical tests confirmed the model. Positive tourism impacts positively affected residents’ QOL via destination management. Negative tourism impacts created overtourism-based resident irritation and negatively impacted their QOL. Research limitations/implications The model was limited to one group of sustainable tourism stakeholders: residents of a destination. The sustainability performance of tourism was only assessed based on residents’ QOL. Practical implications The proposed model adds to the conceptual knowledge of tourism and may be useful for (sustainable) destination managers to monitor the existence and causes of overtourism and may help to focus efforts to manage the causes of overtourism irritation and improve residents’ QOL. Originality/value Overtourism is a concern for residents of tourism destinations who become irritated by unsustainable tourism impacts on community resources and their QOL. The suggested model is the first to address destination management’s ability to manage unsustainable overtourism.

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