module specification

LT5092 - Managing visitors in the era of over-tourism (2021/22)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2021/22
Module title Managing visitors in the era of over-tourism
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
6 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
108 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Visitor management case study (up to 2,000 words)
Running in 2021/22
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Tuesday Afternoon

Module summary

‘Managing Visitors in the Era of Overtourism’ investigates one of the most contemporary concerns of the tourism industry in destinations where carrying capacity has been compromised. The module analyses practices and strategies that enable the management of visitors in sustainable manner, combining exceptional service with protection of resources.

The aim of the module is to provide students with practical skill of assessing visitor management practices based on the in-depth understanding of the importance of sustainable management in the era of overtourism.

Prior learning requirements



In the introductory part, the syllabus will discuss the need for and the concept of visitor management showcasing it as essential practice of sustainable tourism management. - LO1
Concepts of carrying capacity and limits of acceptable change (LAC) will be used to clarify the risks of over tourism emerging around overcrowding and increase in socio-cultural tensions between hosts and guest communities. - LO2
The review of visitor management techniques aiming at influencing tourist’s behaviour: both, in terms of controlling demand and flows of visitors and altering visitors’ behaviour will follow. - LO3
The framework of hard and soft measures will be used to design practical audit and appraise efficiency of visitor management in London based case studies. - LO4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

A third of the module is delivered via class contact, in the form of lectures, seminars, field visits (online if possible), assignment tutorials and formative feedback sessions. Lecture slides are available online (Weblearn) prior to class and in audio-video format after as lecture recording. Lectures use wide range of communication means, including videos, graphics, maps, hyperlinks and social media. Supporting readings (when possible due to copyright) are available in written and audio form.

Syllabus aims to engage diversity of student cohort in discussion and via personalised assignment, where students have a freedom to choose case study of interest. Understanding of the importance of visitor management has very practical dimension in tourism, but also in education as assessment uses primary data collection method and enables students to put research methodology skills into practice. Significant part of the module is dedicated to  and testing of audit, providing opportunity for reflection and improvement in practical research tools.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  1. Analyse and contextualise the relationship between sustainability and visitor management (LO1)
  2. Demonstrate critical understanding of the challenges the over tourism presents in key honeypot destinations (LO2)
  3. Scrutinise visitor management practices used to influence tourist’s behaviour (LO3)
  4. Audit and appraise visitor management techniques and measures in chosen case studies (LO4)

Assessment strategy

The assessment strategy combines two assignments (formative and summative), personalised to suit student’s preferences and interests. To start the assessment process, student needs to choose outdoor or indoor London-based (fieldwork required) case study suitable to assess management of visitors (e.g. park, visitor attraction, transport hub, venue, etc.).
In the formative assessment, student needs to identify all available internal resources relevant to management of visitors (part 1) and create audit template for the purpose of field work assessing the utilisation of visitor management tools in the chosen case study (part 2). Outcomes of both parts will be discussed to ensure correct and most efficient way to progress with the summative case study assignment.

The summative assignment requires students to compile information on the practical techniques and measures of visitor management in the chosen case study and discuss the compliance of observed practice with sustainable management principles. Students are expected to provide recommendations for more efficient visitor management practices.


Core texts:
Albrecht J N, Laws E, Alazaizeh M, Bakiewicz J, Barron P, Bayer J, Bhati A, Burns R, Joao Carneiro M, Durao M (2016) Visitor Management in Tourism Destinations, CABI Publishing, Wallingford

Pechlaner H, innerhofer E, Erschbamer G (2020) Overtourism: tourism management and solutions, Routledge, Abingdon Oxon, New York NY

Ababneh A, Darabseh F, White R (2014) Assessment of Visitor Management at the Archaeological Site of Umm Qais: Conditions and Problems, Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites, 16 (4), 322-340

Additional core readings for individual weeks:
Kennell J (2016) Carrying Capacity, In Encyclopaedia of Tourism, Springer International Publishing, 133-135

European Commission Department of Environmental Studies, University of the Aegean (2002) Defining, Measuring and Evaluating Carrying Capacity in European Tourism Destinations [online] available at

Godwin H (2017) The Challenge of Overtourism, Responsible Tourism Partnership Working Paper, WTM

WTTC (n.d.) Coping with Success: Managing Overcrowding in Tourism Destinations [online] available at

UNWTO (2018) Overtourism? – Understanding and Managing Urban Tourism Growth beyond Perceptions, Madrid [online] available at

Dawes J, Rowley J (1996) The waiting experience: towards service quality in the leisure industry, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 8 (1) 16-21

UNESCO (2017) Guide 8: Managing visitor behaviour – World Heritage Sustainable Tourism Online Toolkit [online] available at

UNESCO (2017) Guide 5: Communicating with visitors: UNESCO World Heritage Sustainable Tourism Online Toolkit [online] available at

Eagles P, McCool S, Haynes C (1998) Tools for visitor management, In: Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas: Guidelines for Planning and Management, UNEP, 87-111

Hausmann A, Weuster L (2018) Possible marketing tools for heritage tourism: the potential of implementing information and communication technology, Journal of Heritage Tourism 13(3) 273-284

DiPietro L, Guglielmetti Mugion L, Renzi M F (2018) Heritage and identity: technology, values and visitor experiences, Journal of Heritage Tourism 13 (2) 97-103

Manning R (2017) Managing outdoor recreation: case studies in the National Parks, CABI Publishing (2nd ed)