Abstract: The debate on overtourism still lacks conceptual precision in its delineation of the constituent elements and processes. In particular, conflict theory is rarely adopted, even though the social conflict is inscribed into the nature of this phenomenon. This article aims to frame the discussion about (over)tourism within the perspective of social conflict theory by adopting the conflict deconstructing methods in order to diagnose the constructs and intensity of disputes associated with overtourism. In pursuit of this aim, the study addresses the following two research questions: (1) To what extent has the heuristic power of the conflict theory been used in overtourism discourse? and (2) How can overtourism be measured by the nature of the social conflicts referring to urban tourism development? The systematic literature review was conducted to analyze research developments on social conflicts within the overtourism discourse. In the empirical section (the case studies of the Polish cities, Krakow and Poznan), we deconstruct the social conflicts into five functional causes (i.e., values, relationship, data, structural, and interests) to diagnose the nature of the conflicts with respect to urban tourism development. This study shows that value conflicts impact most intensively on the nature and dynamics of the conflicts related to overtourism.
Keywords: overtourism; conflict management; social conflict; conflict analysis; circle of conflict; urban tourism; Poland
Citation: Zmyślony, P., Kowalczyk-Anioł, J., Dembińska, M. (2020). Deconstructing the Overtourism-Related Social Conflicts, „Sustainability” 12(4), 1695. DOI 10.3390/su12041695 [PDF]