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The first step to battling overtourism is to focus on density


Sustainability and overtourism have been buzzwords in travel – and in the world in general – for some time. And while not all travelers understand the two are linked, there are ways for destinations to strategize as they seek to move away from tourist overload.

The topic of sustainable travel management is a priority for travel data firm Mabrian, which released a white paper entitled “Seven steps for a roadmap to move destinations away from overtourism” last month in partnership with Phocuswright.

Mabrian analyzes sustainability in four categories: economic sustainability, environmental sustainability, social sustainability and structural sustainability, according to Carlos Cendra, partner and chief marketing and communications officer at Mabrian.

“We split that in four different sections in order to approach specifically at each dimension,” said Cendra. “Obviously this is not a holistic, complete way of measuring. It’s just the starting point. But what we found out … is most of the destinations need to know where to start.”

Given destinations are unique, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to battling overtourism.

“Every destination is a single story,” said Cendra. “But … consider that there are some indicators that can be standardized – and that’s why we work toward having global sources in order to provide those indicators.”

The metric Cendra believes destinations should begin with when it comes to managing the issue is density.

“I would go for the measurement of the density of the tourism activity … basically measuring all the accommodation offering our destination both hotels and holiday rentals, the visitors activity on the map,” said Cendra, pointing to an excess of human pressure due to high season traffic that impacts visitors and tourists. “We can know where the … stress areas [are] and we can help the destination managers to do something related to that and try to avoid that pressure.”

While there are many more factors to consider long term, the most important thing for destinations to do now is “move strategically” and start efforts to prioritize sustainable travel management, he said.

Watch Cendra’s full interview in the PhocusWire Studio at Phocuswright Europe below.

Phocuswright Europe 2024 Executive Interview: Sustainable travel management



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