Anthropology, Department of


Date of this Version


Document Type



Nebraska Anthropologist , Volume 29: 2021, pp 51-66


©2021 University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s AnthroGroup


This writing serves to discuss the various impacts of tourism on local populations. Despite the growth of the tourism industry, only a handful of anthropological studies about the impact of tourism on local populations exist. Therefore, this writing is focused on the study of tourism by anthropologists as there is much about tourism that lends itself well to being studied from an anthropological perspective. Issues relevant to anthropology such as political economy, social change, and cultural identity are directly affected by tourism. A brief overview of the work done by anthropologists on tourism and local populations is discussed. Many anthropological studies on tourism focus exclusively on how non-Western societies are affected when exposed to Western tourists, but little is done to look at the growing impact of non-Western tourism on a global scale. Some common themes when discussing tourism’s effects on the local population are the commodification of culture and displacement or dispossession of land. The growing issue of overtourism and how it affects the destination and the local residents are outlined as well. This paper argues that overtourism decreases the quality of life of the residents by increasing housing costs, limiting the diversity of economic opportunities, and exposing residents to the misuse of public spaces. Many of the effects outlined in the paper are negative, however, tourism also can have positive effects such as being beneficial for the economy.

Included in

Anthropology Commons