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Overtourism in Iceland: Fantasy or Reality?

Overtourism in Iceland: Fantasy or Reality?

Title: Overtourism in Iceland: Fantasy or Reality?
Author: Sæþórsdóttir, Anna   orcid.org/0000-0002-0769-6632
Hall, Colin Michael   orcid.org/0000-0002-7734-4587
Wendt, Margrét
Date: 2020-09-08
Language: English
Scope: 7375
University/Institute: Háskóli Íslands
University of Iceland
School: Verkfræði- og náttúruvísindasvið (HÍ)
School of Engineering and Natural Sciences (UI)
Department: Líf- og umhverfisvísindadeild (HÍ)
Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences (UI)
Series: Sustainability;12(18)
ISSN: 2071-1050
DOI: 10.3390/SU12187375
Subject: Carrying capacity; Commons; Crowding; Destination change; Discourse; Iceland; Media; Overtourism; Ferðamennska; Sjálfbær ferðaþjónusta
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11815/2204

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Sæþórsdóttir, A.D.; Hall, C.M.; Wendt, M. Overtourism in Iceland: Fantasy or Reality? Sustainability 2020, 12, 7375.


Iceland has been one of the main destinations that have been incorporated into the discourse of overtourism. However, Iceland is different to many other supposed overtourism destinations in that its tourism is based on natural areas. Nevertheless, destination discourses can play an important part in influencing tourist decision-making and government and industry policy making. A media analysis was conducted of 507 online media articles on overtourism in Iceland that were published in 2018, with the main themes being identified via content analysis. The results indicated that the media discourse represented only a partial picture of overtourism and the crowding phenomenon in Iceland, with mechanisms to respond to crowding, the satisfaction level of tourists with their Icelandic nature experience, and local people’s support for tourism being underreported. Some of the findings reflect that of other media analyses. However, there are considerable discontinuities between media representations and discourses of overtourism in Iceland, which highlight the importance of national- or destination-level media analysis. The media analysis illustrates the need for a better understanding of different destination discourses and their influence. View Full-Text


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