Tourism and community resilience in the Anthropocene: accentuating temporal overtourism

Joseph M. Cheer, Claudio Milano, Marina Novelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

141 Citations (Scopus)


Global tourism growth is unprecedented. Consequently, this has elevated the sector as a key plank for economic development, and its utility is deeply embedded in political, economic and social-ecological discourse. Where the expansion of the sector leverages natural and cultural landscapes, this applies pressure to social and ecological underpinnings that if not reconciled, can become problematic. The way this plays out in Australia’s Shipwreck Coast and the wider Great Ocean Road region, especially the implications for community resilience, is the focus. Emphasis is placed on the vulnerability of peripheral coastal areas to development that withdraws from destination endowments, yet fails to provide commensurate economic yield as a suitable trade-off. This is obvious where tourism intensification has led to concerns about the breach of normative carrying capacities. Temporal overtourism driven by seasonal overcrowding is countenanced as emblematic of tourism in the Anthropocene where focus tends to be largely growth-oriented, with much less attention given to bolstering social-ecological resilience, especially community resilience. At stake is the resilience of regional areas and their communities, who in the absence of garnering commensurate economic returns from tourism expansion find themselves in social and ecological deficit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)554-572
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Sustainable Tourism
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2019


  • Community resilience
  • overtourism
  • seasonality
  • social-ecological resilience
  • temporal overtourism

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