Associate expert, Dr. Engelbert Ruoss was a speaker at the International Conference Between Overtourism and Undertourism: Implications and Crisis Management Strategies (June 26 – 29) in Lecce (Italy)

While a growing number of tourist destinations are experiencing over-demand or overtourism, other places which are less interesting or developed, are struggling to get their market share. In extreme cases, both over- and under-tourism generate serious problems and challenges. Host communities experiencing overtourism are facing a deteriorating quality of life, outmigration, collapsing infrastructures and various socio-cultural, environmental and economic impacts. On the other hand, communities which so far have not had experienced substantial interest in their tourism assets may feel reluctant to initiate steps to exploit them, seeing the cost of tourism in Venice, Barcelona or Dubrovnik. Thus, while in some not yet “discovered” places, tourism development must proceed with special care, in others, mitigation of negative and unsustainable consequences of overtourism must take place. ( 2019)

Dr. Ruoss talked about risks and opportunities of media related to over- and undertourism in World Heritage Sites and discussed the impacts resulting especially from social media in heritage destinations. The paper on Social Media Analysis of the Destinations of World Heritage Region Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch was presented by his former USI UNESCO Chair intern, Andela Sormaz. She commented: “It was my pleasure to present the first part of the project that I was working on during my internship at the USI UNESCO Chair, as well as to introduce further work on a model for visitors’ flow management within an area of Natural World Heritage Site. Apart from that, it was a great opportunity to meet other speakers and researchers with similar interests and to discuss fundamental issues destinations face due to the growth of one of the world’s largest economic sectors – tourism.”