Call to define tourism limits [ODT, 28/12/19]

A line should be drawn under what is an acceptable number of tourists visiting Queenstown in order to manage overtourism, researchers say.

That limit should be determined by the host community, rather than environmental constraints, and could be quite a tricky figure to come up with.

The researchers from the University of Otago’s tourism department were invited by the Swiss-based World Tourism Forum Lucerne to be one of 15 groups of researchers in a global comparative case study into overtourism.

Overtourism is a collective term for many different forms of tourism problems but it is often used to describe too many visitors at a particular destination.

Dr Julia Albrecht, Dr Susan Houge MacKenzie and Hannah Parsons suggested Queenstown for the research project as it was home to 39,200 residents, but on a typical day visitor numbers could increase the population to about 70,000 and during peak season to about 110,000.

Peak day populations are forecast to hit 150,000 by 2024.

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