Tourism and Degrowth: Impossibility Theorem or Path to Post-Capitalism?

by Robert Fletcher, Asunción Blanco-Romero, Macià Blázquez-Salom and Ivan Murray

“Touristification” of cities is increasingly met by discontent of local communities deprived of their places: overtourism is a real issue and we must face the challenge of rethinking and remaking one of the world’s biggest industries. The time has come to start talking seriously about how to bring tourism and degrowth together

A spectre is haunting tourism: the spectre of degrowth.

Recent years have witnessed mounting discontent with the impacts of tourism growth in some of the world’s most popular destinations. Such reactions address several common impacts of tourism expansion.

On the one hand, growth in mass tourism increases pressure on existing spaces while continually colonizing new ones. Meanwhile, efforts to combat this by redirecting the industry towards more exclusive high-income tourism segregates spaces from locals entirely.

Combined, these dynamics are transforming formerly multi-functional cities into “monocultural” tourist resorts. State officials have generally not offered adequate legal responses to this situation. And even when local authorities ​​have proposed palliative measures (as in Barcelona, via a regulatory framework called PEUAT) these are rarely strong enough to confront the extent of the problem. (continue reading here)

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