Overtourism: An analysis of its coverage in the media by using framing theory

Connor Clark, Gyan P. Nyaupane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study is to obtain a deeper understanding of how the media frames the recent overtourism phenomenon and to theorize the impacts of such framing on policy making and mitigation by using framing theory. We conducted a content analysis of 85 media articles to compare the negative impacts of overtourism across destination types. The results revealed media reports of critical environmental impacts at national parks, beach destinations, and archaeological sites; high socioeconomic impacts at archaeological sites, island destinations, and urban destinations; and high infrastructural impacts at national parks, archaeological sites, and island destinations. Differences in the severity of impacts by destination type have implications for destination planning and management frameworks. We also used Entman's classification of frames to analyze the media's portrayal of the phenomenon. Results revealed that the media overemphasizes redefining overtourism and fails to cover a range of possible solutions for properly managing the complex issue, especially by major news sources. These findings suggest that the media continuously redefines overtourism as a new phenomenon and oversimplifies its complexity, which prevents addressing the root cause of the problem and misleads policy implications. Theoretical implications of media framing are discussed, as are remedial strategies for destination management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-90
Number of pages16
JournalTourism Review International
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Content analysis
  • Destination management
  • Framing theory
  • Overtourism
  • Sustainable tourism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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