Mass Tourism: Tourism boom and bust in urban governance (2016-2050)

In this project we contribute to the increasing body of knowledge on mass tourism and specifically to the literatures focusing on local governance aimed to tackle the perceived problems caused by tourism. We aim to deepen the understanding of tourismand the possibilities and limits to coordinate, regulate, steer and control it in urban governance by answering the following questions:

  1. What is the public support for the increasing presence of tourists and tourism as a growing sector? By answering this question, we aim to map the increasing tensions between different stakeholders in and over places.
  2. How is tourism as a problem defined, by whom and why? Who is responsible for the agenda setting of tourism as a problem? How is tourism problematised? Is it really only mass tourism that is the problem? What are the reality effects of these problem framings? To answer these questions, we analyse the consequences of different problem framings about the way the tourism is dealt with in urban governance.
  3. Which attempts are taken to influence tourism and are these attempts successful? How is mass tourism coordinated, regulated, steered and controlled by governments, companies, citizens and NGOs?
  4. How does mass tourism materialise in places, spaces and landscapes? What are the social and spatial consequences of the presence of tourists/tourism? Using research by design we try to envision alternative scenarios, visions and solutions.

Project coordinators: Martijn Duineveld and Ko Koens  

Project results


In progress.

Master Thesis

Jakobs, T. (2018) Tourism Governance in Amsterdam: A Discourse Analysis. Wageningen University Master Thesis: Netherlands, 2018.

Wylick. Laura van. (2019) Public Problems, Local Solutions : A Case Study on Mass Tourism Discourse & Governance in the Damstraat, Amsterdam; Wageningen University Master Thesis: Netherlands

Neugebauer, Ruby (2019) Spatial distribution: A powerful discourse in the debate on city tourism? Wageningen University Master Thesis: Netherlands


Duineveld, M and K. Koens (2019) Lang leve het massatoerisme! Over het innovatief potentieel van toerisme

Neringa, K. (2019) Re-learning about Amsterdam, mass tourism and ‘academic myself’


Re-learning public space | An Action Research Event | Amsterdam | 28th – 30th June, 2018

Relevant sources

Academic papers

Alexis, P. (2017). Over-Tourism and Anti-Tourist Sentiment: An Exploratory Analysis and Discussion. Ovidius University Annals, Economic Sciences Series, 17(2), 288-293.

Boissevain, J. (1996). Coping with tourists: European reactions to mass tourism (Vol. 1)Providence, Oxford: Berghahn Books.

Dumbrovská, V. (2017). Urban Tourism Development in Prague: From Tourist Mecca to Tourist Ghetto. In N. Bellini & C. Pasquinelli (Eds.), Tourism in the City (pp. 275–283). Springer International Publishing.

Fava, N., & Rubio, S. P. (2017). From Barcelona: The Pearl of the Mediterranean to Bye Bye Barcelona. In N. Bellini & C. Pasquinelli (Eds.), Tourism in the City (pp. 285–295). Springer International Publishing.

Glasson, J. (1994). Oxford: a heritage city under pressure. Visitors, impacts and management responses. Tourism Management, 15(2), 137–144.

Gutiérrez, J., García-Palomares, J. C., Romanillos, G., & Salas-Olmedo, M. H. (2017). The eruption of Airbnb in tourist cities: Comparing spatial patterns of hotels and peer-to-peer accommodation in Barcelona.Tourism Management, 62, 278–291.

Koens, K., & Postma, A. (2017). Understanding and Managing Visitor Pressure in Urban Tourism. A Study into the Nature and Methods used to Manage Visitor Pressure in Six Major European Cities, CELTH, Leeuwarden/Breda/Vlissingen.

Pons, P. O. (2016). Cultures of mass tourism: doing the Mediterranean in the age of banal mobilities. Routledge.

Popp, M. (2012). Positive and Negative Urban Tourist Crowding: Florence, Italy. Tourism Geographies, 14(1), 50-72.

Postma, A., & Schmuecker, D. (2017). Understanding and overcoming negative impacts of tourism in city destinations: conceptual model and strategic framework. Journal of Tourism Futures, 3(2), 144-156.

Reid, D. G. (2003). Tourism, globalization and development: Responsible tourism planning:Pluto Press.

Santana-Jiménez, Y., & Hernández, J. M. (2011). Estimating the effect of overcrowding on tourist attraction: The case of Canary Islands.Tourism Management, 32(2), 415-425.

Turner, L., & Ash, J. (1975). “The” Golden Hordes: International Tourism and the Pleasure Periphery. Constable Limited.

Urry, J. (2002). The tourist gaze. London, Thousands Oaks & New Delhi.

Vainikka, V. (2013). Rethinking mass tourism. Tourist Studies, 13(3), 268-286.

Van der Borg, J., Costa, P., & Gotti, G. (1996). Tourism in European heritage cities.Annals of Tourism Research, 23(2), 306–321.

Zuelow, E. (2015). A history of modern tourism. Palgrave Macmillan.

Consultancy reports

McKinsey & Company and World Travel & Tourism Council. (2017). Coping with success. Managing overcrowding in tourism destinations. (n.p.): McKinsey & Company and World Travel & Tourism Council.—managing-overcrowding-in-tourism-destinations-2017.pdf

Milano, C. (2017). Over-tourism and Tourism-phobia: Global trends and local contexts.Barcelona: Ostelea School of Tourism & Hospitality

OECD. (2018). OECD Tourism Trends and Policies 2018.Paris: OECD Publishing. IPK International. (2018).ITB world travel trends report 2017 / 2018. Boom or bust? Where is tourism heading? Berlin: Messe Berlin GmbH.

(In Dutch) Postma, A., & Koens, K. (2016). Toeristische druk op stedelijke bestemmingen. Het perspectief van bewoners. In CBS (Ed.), Trendrapport toerisme, recreatie en vrije tijd 2016 (pp. 208-212). Nieuwegein: NRIT Media, CBS, NBTC Holland Marketing, CELTH.

(In Dutch) Westerbeek, H., Koens, K., & Melissen, F. (2017). Smart City Hospitality: Een mogelijke weg naar duurzamer stedelijk toerisme. In K. De Bruijn, T. Vermeulen, D. Korteweg Maris, M. Rooijackers, K. van der Morst, N. Heerschap, … K. van Wijk (Eds.), Trendrapport toerisme, recreatie en vrije tijd 2017. Nieuwegein: NRIT Media.

Newspaper articles and websites

(In Dutch) Amsterdam gaat de drukte in de stad ‘managen’. Retrieved from

(In Dutch) Amsterdam kiest Movares voor Crowd Monitoring Systeem. Retrieved from

(In Dutch) Amsterdam wil de massa’s ‘wegmasseren’. Retrieved from

Anti-tourism movement rising around European cities. Retrieved from

Backpacker, Go Home: How Tourism Is Ruining Everything. Retrieved from

Ban freedom camping, impose bed tax on tourists. Retrieved from

Barcelona adds Segway ban to curbs on tourism. Retrieved from

Berlin Has Banned Airbnb. Retrieved from

Busting the boom: why Barcelona wants to curb mass tourism – reporter. Retrieved from

Crowd management & crowd control. Retrieved from

(In Dutch) De opkomst van het massatoerisme. Retrieved from

(In Dutch) ‘De stad zag de gevaren niet op tijd’. Retrieved from

(In Dutch) Hong Kong wil af van massatoerisme. Retrieved from

Iceland plans Airbnb restrictions amid tourism explosion. Retrieved from

Is mass tourism destroying our cities? Bye Bye Barcelona documentary investigates. Retrieved from

Japan wants ‘Chinese-only’ zones at tourist attractions to limit bad behaviour. Retrieved from

(In Dutch) Kuddedieren. Over het toerisme in de hoofdstad. Retrieved from

(In Dutch) Leve het massatoerisme. Retrieved from

Mallorca graffiti fury: ‘Tourists go home. Refugees welcome’. Retrieved from

(In Dutch) Massatoerisme is funest voor Amsterdam. Retrieved from

Mass tourism affects major travel destinations in Europe. Retrieved from

Mass tourism is at a tipping point – but we’re all part of the problem. Retrieved from

Mounting opposition to Bali mass tourism project. Retrieved from

(In Dutch) ‘Natuur de grote verliezer’. Retrieved from

One of Thailand’s Most Beautiful Islands Is Being Closed Before Tourists Ruin It Forever. Retrieved from

(In Dutch) Portfolio Safestival. Retrieved from

Taxing tourists to save our species. Retrieved from

The ‘Airbnb effect’: is it real, and what is it doing to a city like Amsterdam? Retrieved from

Wish you weren’t here: What can we do about over-tourism? Retrieved from

(In Dutch) 3 opvallende strategieën spreiding toerisme. Retrieved from

(Urban) Governance

Beunen, R., Van Assche, K., & Duineveld, M. (2016). Evolutionary Governance Theory. Springer

Hall, C. M. (2008).Tourism planning: Policies, processes and relationships (second ed.). Dorchester: Pearson Education.

Duim, van der, R., Lamers, M., & van Wijk, J. (2015). Novel institutional arrangements for tourism, conservation and development in Eastern and Southern Africa.In Institutional arrangements for conservation, development and tourism in Eastern and Southern Africa (pp. 1-16). Springer, Dordrecht.

Dredge, D. (2010). Place change and tourism development conflict: Evaluating public interest. Tourism management, 31(1), 104-112.

Lapeyre, R. (2011).Governance structures and the distribution of tourism income in Namibian communal lands: a new institutional framework. Tijdschrift voor economische en sociale geografie, 102(3), 302-315.

Pellis, A., Lamers, M., & Van der Duim, R. (2015). Conservation tourism and landscape governance in Kenya: the interdependency of three conservation NGOs. Journal of Ecotourism, 14(2-3), 130-144.

Russo, A. P., & Scarnato, A. (2017). “Barcelona in common”: A new urban regime for the 21st-century tourist city? Journal of Urban Affairs, 0(0), 1–20.

Tourism general

Beerli, A., & Martin, J. D. (2004). Tourists’ characteristics and the perceived image of tourist destinations: a quantitative analysis—a case study of Lanzarote, Spain. Tourism Management, 25(5), 623-636.

Chettiparamb, A., & Thomas, H. (2012). Editorial: Tourism and spatial planning. Journal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure and Events, 4(3), 215-220.

Farias, I. (2012). Destinations as virtual objects of tourist communication. In R. van der Duim, C. Ren, & G. T. Johannesson (Eds.), Actor-Network Theory and Tourism (pp. 128-145). London: Routledge.

Franklin, A. (2004). Tourism as an ordering: Towards a new ontology of tourism. Tourist studies, 4(3), 277-301.

Hall, C. M. (2014). Tourism and social marketing. London: Routledge.

Koens, K., & Thomas, R. (2016). “You know that’s a rip-off”: policies and practices surrounding micro-enterprises and poverty alleviation in South African township tourism. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 24(12), 1641–1654.

Krippendorf, J. (1987). The Holiday Makers: Understanding the Impact of Leisure and Travel. London: Heinemann Educational Books.

Law, J. (1984). On the methods of long-distance control: vessels, navigation and the Portuguese route to India. The Sociological Review, 32(1_suppl), 234-263.

Rebollo, J. F. V., & Baidal, J. A. I. (2003). Measuring Sustainability in a Mass Tourist Destination: Pressures, Perceptions and Policy Responses in Torrevieja, Spain. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 11(2–3), 181–203.

Weaver, D. (2014). The Sustainable Development of Tourism. In A. A. Lew, C. M. Hall, & A. M. Williams (Eds.), The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Tourism (pp. 524-534). Oxford: John Wiley & Sons.

Wickens, E. (2002). The sacred and the profane: A tourist typology. Annals of tourism research, 29(3), 834-851.


Conrad, J. (1996). Heart of darkness.Palgrave Macmillan, New York.

Dyer, G. (2016). White Sands: Experiences from the Outside World. Text Publishing.

Dyer, G. (2012). Yoga for People Who Can’t be Bothered to Do it.Canongate Books.

Garland, A. (2007). The beach.Penguin UK.

Naipaul, V. S. (2001). In a free state.Pan Macmillan.

Thompson, H. S. (2011). The Rum Diary: A Novel.Simon and Schuster.