Events as catalysts for communal resistance to overtourism

Michael B. Duignan*, Sally Everett, Scott McCabe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


The negative impacts of tourism, often associated with overtourism, can lead to resistance by local stakeholders. This study focuses on collective resistance across Japan in the lead up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, during a period of exponential growth in tourism that produced disruption and fear, and led to a rise in tourismophobia. We conceptualise negative reactions through Castells' theory of the network society. Utilising qualitative data, we argue that Japan's national tourism growth strategy represented a state-imposed legitimising identity, leading to communal resistance sentiment and tactics across Japan and Tokyo. We illustrate how events act as catalysts for opposition against tourism development and how resistance identities can produce a new project and counter-legitimising identity tourism planners should take seriously.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103438
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


  • Castells' network society
  • Collective
  • Communal resistance
  • Identities
  • Japan
  • Mega-events
  • Overtourism


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