Chapter 19 Optimization of tourism development in destinations: an approach used to alleviate the impacts of overtourism in the Mediterranean region
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Many Mediterranean nature-based tourism destinations are currently experiencing overtourism related symptoms, in particular, high tourism-dependency, the continuous growth of visitor arrivals, loss of authenticity, overcrowding and most recently even anti-tourist and anti-tourism movements and social unrests. What makes this phenomenon relevant, recent and complicated is the lack of effective management solutions and lack of policies and tools to respond. Pronounced anthropocentric tendencies suggest that new solutions, sharing of knowledge and communication between all stakeholders are needed to optimise the complex interrelations within these ecosystems. In a context of nature-based destinations, optimisation refers to a strategy that seeks to stabilise or even reduce tourist numbers and to maintain, restore and improve the physical, ecological, social and economic capacity thresholds imperilled by excessive tourism development. This study adapts Driver-Pressure-State-Impact-Response (DPSIR) framework to analyse potential and currently applied responses aiming to optimise tourism development to alleviate the impacts of overtourism in renowned Mediterranean nature-based destinations.

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Editor: Anna Spenceley