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what is Overtourism?

Tourism that has moved beyond the limits of acceptable change in a destination due to quantity of visitors, resulting in degradation of the environment and infrastructure, diminished travel experience, wear and tear on built heritage, and/or negative impacts on residents

- Center for Responsible Travel (CREST)

NEws & Resources

CREST’s 2018 annual meta-analysis will be structured around four themes: the business case, the consumer case, and the destination case for responsible tourism, as well as trends and statistics related to overtourism. The report will highlight the drawbacks and successes of destinations in dealing with overcrowding and environmental degradation, so that these examples can be utilized across the globe. 

The report is being prepared in collaboration with 30 leading tourism organizations and institutions: Aalborg University; Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA); Boston University School of Hospitality; California State University, Monterey Bay; Caribbean Tourism Organization; Colorado State University; Destination Stewardship Center; East Carolina University;; Gender Responsible Tourism; Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC); Global Wellness Institute; Impact Travel Alliance; International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN);Kind Traveler; Michigan State University; National Tour Association (NTA); The Ocean Foundation; Purdue University; Rainforest Alliance; Skäl International; Technological Institute of Cancun; Tourism Cares; The Travel Foundation; Universidad Tecmilenio; Universidad de Occidente; UN Environment Programme; Virginia Tech; Western Sydney University; World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC); and World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Read the 2017 edition here

Overtourism: seeking solutions (in progress)

This volume, co-edited by CREST Executive Director Martha Honey, will pull together relevant case studies on overtourism and the innovative solutions that have been proposed and implemented. The book will be structured to reflect the format of the World Tourism Day forum, including chapters on 1) historic cities; 2) national parks and protected areas; 3) World Heritage Sites; 4) coastal and beach communities; 5) national and regional destinations.  

Por el Mar de las Antillas: 50 Anos de Turismo de Cruceros en el Caribe

This CREST study of “lessons learned” from 50 years of large-scale cruise tourism was officially released April 27, 2018, during an event in Havana, Cuba. Ediciones Temas, one of Cuba’s leading publishing houses, released the Spanish edition as an e-book entitled, Por el Mar de las Antillas: 50 años de turismo de cruceros en el Caribe. The study is co-authored by CREST executive director Martha Honey, CREST consultant Jannelle Wilkins, and two Cuban academics, Rafael Betancourt and Jose Luis Perello. Research for the study began in September 2016 and involved more than a dozen researchers in various countries. The study was financed with grants from the Ford and Christopher Reynolds foundations. CREST plans to release an English language version of the cruise study later in 2018. Download in Spanish here

Climate change and coastal & marine tourism in the carribean: four volumes

In 2017, CREST released two volumes entitled Coastal Tourism, Sustainability, and Climate Change in the Caribbean. Volume I is focused on Hotels and Beaches and Volume II on Supporting Activities, including Golf, Sustainable Food Sourcing, and Airlines & Airports. The volumes contain essays and case studies by 33 different experts that look at how various tourism sectors both contribute to and are impacted by climate change. The twin volumes also highlight innovative tourism businesses that are providing solutions to addressing climate change. Two additional companion volumes, titled Marine Tourism, Climate Change, and Resilience in the Caribbean, round out the series. Volume I is focused on Ocean Health, Fisheries, and Marine Protected Areas and Volume II on Recreation, Yachts, and Cruise Ships. Edited by CREST Academic Affiliate Dr. Kreg Ettenger of the University of Maine, with assistance from CREST's Samantha Hogenson Bray, the books features essays and case studies from thirty different authors.These four volumes grew out of the 2015 Think Tank on Climate Change and Coastal & Marine Tourism, which CREST and the Grupo Puntacana Foundation hosted in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Available for purchase here


Caribbean Green Travel: Your Choice Makes a Difference

The newest CREST documentary shows that the Caribbean is more than traditional large resort and cruise tourism. Through the power of the good example, this 45-minute film includes portraits of tourism businesses in Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Aruba, and Grenada that are practicing environmental stewardship and generating social and economic benefits for the destinations.

The Goose with the Golden Eggs: Tourism on Costa Rica's Pacific Coast

This educational documentary examines the impacts of large-scale resort and vacation home developments along Costa Rica's Pacific Coast, as well as cruise ship arrivals in the port city of Puntarenas. Through interviews with community members, government and park officials, tourism guides and hoteliers, activists and experts, the film portrays the challenges coastal communities are facing over water, beach access, land ownership, protection of mangroves, and other issues.

Travelers' Philanthropy: Giving Time, Talent, & Treasure

This CREST produced film examines for the first time "Travelers' Philanthropy" – the growing global movement by responsible tourism companies and travelers to support social service, environmental, micro enterprise, and other types of projects in the host communities where tourism takes place.

All films available for purchase through our website