Overtourism and degrowth: a social movements perspective

Claudio Milano, Marina Novelli, Joseph M. Cheer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOther

35 Citations (Scopus)


Overtourism is a contemporary phenomenon, rapidly evolving and underlined by what is evidently excessive visitation to tourist destinations. This is obvious in the seemingly uncontrolled and unplanned occurrence of urban overtourism in popular destinations and arguably a consequence of unregulated capital accumulation and growth strategies heavily associated with selling cities as tourism commodities. The vested interests of social movements has converged into growing protests against overtourism and associated degrowth campaigns have emerged out of this activism that calls for alternative governance and management measures that eschew touristic monoculture and simplistic economic growth-oriented models. Accordingly, we explore the evolution of the tourism degrowth discourse among social movement activists in Barcelona, and in particular, where this is related to claims associated with overtourism and the extent to which this might be influencing a paradigm shift from ‘tourism growth’ to ‘tourism degrowth’. Methodologically, we draw from an overarching framework that leverages long-term ethnographic research in Barcelona. Here, we employ in-depth semi-structured interviews, participant observations, informal conversations and retrospective evaluation of field diary entries.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Sustainable Tourism
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2019


  • Barcelona
  • Degrowth
  • overtourism
  • social movements
  • urban tourism

Cite this