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Swedish Travellers‘ attitudes towards Overtourism in cities: an exploratory research
Södertörn University, School of Natural Sciences, Technology and Environmental Studies, Tourism Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5108-7252
Södertörn University, School of Natural Sciences, Technology and Environmental Studies, Tourism Studies.
Södertörn University, School of Natural Sciences, Technology and Environmental Studies, Tourism Studies.
2023 (English)In: 31st Nordic Symposium on Tourism and Hospitality Research: Book of Abstracts, Östersund: Mid Sweden University , 2023, p. 131-134Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Introduction and literature review

Overtourism as a sustainability sissue for different tourism stakeholers (Milano et al, 2022;Santos-Rojo et al., 2023) inside and outside destinations has been very explored duringrecent decade. Most earlier studies on the topic have either touched upon localstakeholders on the destination and locals‘ tourismphobia has been frequently mentionedby authors (see e.g. Verissimo et al., 2020; Yrigoy et al., 2023). In the literature, oertourismhas been associated with seasonality, i.e. it happens almost entirely in a peak season(mostly during the summer) and not year round (see e.g. Yrigoy et al., 2023; Ghaderi et al.,2022). From initially having had a focus on some specific coastal European urbandestinations such as Barcelona, Venice and Dubrovnik in many studies (see e.g. Verissimoet al., 2020) the recent years‘ research also has included rural remote places worldwide forinvestigations (see e.g. Eckert et al., 2019; Ghaderi et al., 2022; Lundmark et al, 2020) as wellas new urban destinations that earlier have been unknown as places for overtourism (seee.g. Fedyk et al., 2023).Most earlier attitude investigations on overtourism have had a focus on the destinationsand their local residents and stakeholders (see.e.g. Kim and Kang, 2020; Kuscer and Mihalic,2019). Despites few studies during recent years (e.g. Kainthola et al., 2021)tourists‘ perspective and attitudes on the issue has been less visible in the research.Especially, a lack of knowledge on travellers comming from tourist generating nations orregions and their attitudes towards overtourism in city destinations has been obviouslyinvisible. Thus, the purpose of this research is to fill this gap for Sweden and Swedishtravellers to city destionations. This will be our contribution to existing body of researchon the issue. Following research questions will be answered in this paper:–How Swedish travellers define, perceive and reason around the phenomenon ofoertourism in city destinations?132–What kind of solutions to the problem is suggested by them?

MethodologyThis study is explorative in its nature and is based an online survey. The authors initiallyadopted a predominantly quantitative approach to reach a large number of respondents tocater to representativeness (Bryman 2016). Thus, several questions and comment optionswere also purposely given to the respondents to get deeper insigts of their attitudes andperceptions of the topic. The survey that contained 15 questions was firstly screened forethical issues by the host university. The authors guaranteed total anonymity to therespondents through considering the European GDPR (General Data ProtectionRegulation) that concerns protect of personal issues in research. Then the survey waspublished at tens of Swedish social forums (public and private pages on Linkedin andFacebook). After two months (February- March 2023) and several reminders we got 370completed surveys.

Preliminary Findings

A look at the sample shows that 55% of the respondens (202 individuals) are women andthe rest are men. A predominat majority of them (74%) are older than 40 year and they areeither employed (56%), retired (31%), students (9%) or others (4%) and a predominantmajority (83%) of them has postseconday/academic education. Over 70% of them state thatthey travel abroad twice or more each year, and 54% has travelled to abroad more than 16times during last ten years. A majority answers that they have good knowledge onovertourism and almost all of them define the term with their own words. Also theydescribe typical examples of situations of ourtourism that they have been witnessses to.Based on their experiences they mention many urban destinations in the world that theyperceived as places with ourtourism. This includes already known places as well as notexpected places, major metropolitain areas as well as small less known towns and specificareas or districts in urban regions. 75% of the respondents beleive that overtourism is aproblem and they point to many enviromental issues, tentions, crimiality, increased prices,negative tourism experiences, etcetera that are linked to overtourism. 25% of therespondents that would not consider it as a problem reason among other things thatovertourism is a temporary phenomenon during short time of peak season, that this is goodfor the destinations economy and standard of living, it facilitates cultural encounters,etcetera. Those that beleive overtourism is a problem suggest as solution more research,knowledge to the general public, quota system, regulations, restrictions, seasonprolongation, etcetera.133

Preliminary Conclusions

The respondents in this research point to a very complex phenomenon with multifacettedproblems as the consequence and that also needs to be solved in a multifacetted way withdifferent actors/stakeholder both in tourist generating regions and in tourist receivingregions i.e. destinations exposed by overtourism. As a part of the respondents mean, onecannot prevent people to travel but people can get important and necessary help beforedeparture but also at the destinations to enjoy the travel without being harmful tothemselves, to other tourists, residents and to the sensitive historical sites and naturalenvironments.

References

Bryman, A. (2016). Social research methods. Oxford, England: Oxford university press.Eckert, C., Zacher, D., Pechlaner, H., Namberger, P., & Schmude, J. (2019). Strategies andmeasures directed towards overtourism: a perspective of European DMOs. InternationalJournal of Tourism Cities, 5(4), 639–655.Fedyk, W., Sltysik, M., Rolczynski, T., Taheri, B., Borzyszkowski, J., and Okumus, F.(2023), Overtourism in a City Destination from the Perspective of Entrepreneurs:Evidence from Wroclaw, Poland, Journal of Environmental Management and Tourism 14 (2),pp. 442- 457.Ghaderi, Z, Hall, M.C., and Ryan, C. (2022), Overtourism, residents and Iranian ruralvillages: Voices from a developing country, Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Vol.37, 100487.Kainthola, S., Tiwari, P., & Chowdhary, N. R. (2021). Overtourism to zero tourism:Changing tourists’ perception of crowding post COVID-19. Journal of Spatial andOrganizational Dynamics, 9(2), 115-137.Kim, S., and Kang, Y. (2020), Why do residents in an overtourism destination developanti-tourist attitudes? An exploration of residents’ experience through the lens of thecommunity-based tourism, Asia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research Vol. 25, Issue 8, pp. 858-876.Kuscer, K., and and Mihalic, T. (2019), Residents’ Attitudes towards Overtourism fromthe Perspective of Tourism Impacts and Cooperation—The Case of Ljubljana,Sustainability 11, 1823.Lundmark, L., Müller, D. K., & Bohn, D. (2020). Arctification and the paradox ofovertourism in sparsely populated areas. Dipping in to the north: Living, working andtraveling in sparsely populated areas, 349-371.134Milano, C., Novelli, M., and Cheer, J.M. (2022), Overtourism. In Buhalis, D (Ed),Encyclopedia of Tourism Management and Marketing, pp. 413-416. Elgar onlineSantos-Rojo, C., Llopis-Amorós, M., and García-García, J.M. (2023), Overtourism andsustainability: A bibliometric study (2018–2021), Technological Forecasting & Social Change188, 122285.Veríssimo, M., Moraes, M., Breda, Z., Guizi, A., & Costa, C. (2020). Overtourism andtourismphobia: A systematic literature review. Tourism: An International InterdisciplinaryJournal, 68(2), 156-169.Yrigoy, I., Horrach, P., Escudero, L., & Mulet, C. (2023). Co-opting overtourism: tourismstakeholders’ use of the perceptions of overtourism in their power struggles. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 1-17.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Östersund: Mid Sweden University , 2023. p. 131-134
Series
Rapportserien / European Tourism Research Institute, ISSN 1403-4220 ; 2023:1
National Category
Other Social Sciences
Research subject
Politics, Economy and the Organization of Society
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-52387ISBN: 978-91-89786-37-0 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-52387DiVA, id: diva2:1800249
Conference
31st Nordic Symposium on Tourism and Hospitality Research, Östersund, September 19-21, 2023.
Available from: 2023-09-26 Created: 2023-09-26 Last updated: 2023-12-15Bibliographically approved

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Abbasian, SaeidOnn, Gustaf

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