Destinations can address overtourism through strategic planning, good management, and active monitoring of tourism’s impacts. Over years of work on this topic, CREST has developed and gathered a variety of tools and case studies to share.
Overtourism: Lessons Learned for a Better Future (Island Press, May 2021)
Before COVID-19 hit, the biggest problem in the world of travel was overtourism. Crowds threatened to spoil natural environments and make daily life unbearable for residents of popular travel destinations. Then, seemingly overnight, tourism nearly ceased. Yet, there is no question that travel will resume; the only question is, when it does, what will it look like? Will we return to a world of overrun monuments, littered beaches, and gridlocked city streets? Or can we do things differently this time? Overtourism: Lessons for a Better Future, co-edited by CREST Co-Founder & Director Emeritus Martha Honey and Program Manager Kelsey Frenkiel, charts a path toward tourism that is not only sustainable but regenerative for the places we love and the people who live there. Bringing together tourism officials, city council members, travel journalists, consultants, scholars, and trade association members, this practical book explores overtourism from a variety of perspectives.
Cruise Tourism in the Caribbean: Selling Sunshine (Routledge Press, 2019)
This CREST book explores the lessons learned from half a century of Caribbean cruise tourism, one of the most popular and profitable sectors of the tourism industry. The study considers the limited economic benefits of cruise tourism, its environmental and social impacts, and the effects of climate change, and overtourism. Based on this analysis and case studies of key Caribbean and Mediterranean destinations, this book cautions against over-dependence on cruise tourism and outlines reforms needed to bring more benefits and equity to Caribbean countries. It is valuable to professionals, businesses, development agencies, NGOs, and academics interested in a sustainable cruise industry and the economic well-being of Caribbean island nations.
Por el Mar de las Antillas: 50 Anos de Turismo de Cruceros en el Caribe (Ediciones Temas, 2018)
This CREST book, published as a Spanish-language eBook by Ediciones Temas, one of Cuba’s leading publishing houses, traces the history and brings together lessons learned from a half century of Caribbean cruise tourism. It was written at a time when Cuba, the region’s largest island, was being integrated into Caribbean cruise tourism for the first time and showed signs of becoming the region’s most important cruise destination. While most Cubans were optimistic that increased tourism could lead to more revenue and jobs, there was also an undercurrent of concern, in Cuba and elsewhere, about the impacts of cruise tourism, especially in comparison with stayover tourism. The book examines the economic, sociocultural, and environmental impacts of cruise tourism on destinations in the Caribbean and lays out recommendations for how to improve the benefits for the region’s island states.
Overtourism: Seeking Solutions
In 2018, CREST partnered with George Washington University’s International Institute for Tourism Studies to host an international event in Washington, DC on the topic of overtourism solutions. Tourism professionals representing a wide range of destinations (including World Heritage sites, coastal and beach communities, national and regional destinations, national parks and protected areas, and historic cities) discussed the challenges they faced in their destinations and the creative solutions that have been tried and tested. This event provided a platform for tourism practitioners to share their knowledge and reflect on what has worked and what has not.
The Case for Responsible Travel: Trends & Statistics 2018
The 2018 update of CREST’s annual meta-analysis includes an in-depth look at the complex issue of overtourism and the role of responsible travel in developing solutions. This report considers overtourism trends in five distinct types of destinations and concludes that the principles of responsible travel and visitor education provide a vital framework for effectively addressing the issue. It also highlights growing consumer demand for authentic and meaningful travel experiences and analyzes the role of tourism businesses in mainstreaming responsible travel.
Cruise Tourism Impacts in Costa Rica and Honduras: Policy Recommendations for Decision Makers
Through thousands of cruise passenger surveys and several hundred interviews with those directly involved in the tourism industry in 2007, CREST collected data on cruise tourism’s economic, social, and environmental impacts in Belize, Costa Rica, Honduras, and Costa Maya, Mexico. Careful analysis of first-hand views, combined with detailed review of the industry’s economic data, indicate a real need for improvements to the way cruise tourism is typically handled throughout the region.
Cruise Tourism in Belize: Perceptions of Economic, Social and Environmental Impacts
This 2006 study examines the terrestrial impacts – economic, social, & environmental – of cruise tourism as they are viewed in Belize. It is based on academically rigorous field research carried out in 2005 and through analysis of cruise passenger and exit surveys. The study compares spending patterns, activities, perceptions and preferences of cruise and stayover visitors. It also compares the history, policymaking, and public debate around cruise tourism and ecotourism, while comparing the two with respect to employment, taxes, and generated public revenue.