PurposeThe purpose of this paper is the development of the Cinque Terre, a rural and marginal area until the 1960s, to a famous tourism destination and eventually to a place brand that is attracting tourists worldwide. Since the growth of this small area which winds between the see and the mountain has happened in only 50 years, the place has not been able to prevent the tourism crowd, hence, what was a great tourism opportunity has gradually transformed into a problem. The paper explores how this has happened and the initiatives that have been put in place to manage overtourism.Design/methodology/approachThe case history was examined using economic statistics and territorial marketing methodology, as well as the evolution of the social and economic context. The approach aims to provide a new development perspective with respect to the evolution of the past (past 50 years).FindingsThe great development of Cinque Terre as international tourism destination has created a lot of economic benefits to the local economy but, at the same time, has revealed the other side of the coin. Cinque Terre has reached such a saturation level that risks the transformation of its heritage. Once a rural and shy area between sea and mountain, it has become a mass destination with too many visitors. Actions are under consideration not only to simply cool down tourism flows but also to re-address them, to educate tourism organizations to manage tourism in alternative ways and to better appreciate the beauty of the place.Originality/valueOver-crowding in tourism, or over-tourism, is a new phenomenon caused by the increased flow of tourists worldwide and by their augmented concentration in locations that are not ready or able to host large numbers of visitors. Cinque Terre represents a topical situation in this respect.
Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 30, 2020