Tourism Impacts on Society

Professor: Jeroen Klijs, PhD
Research topic: the impacts of tourism on society.



This professorship’s ambition is to help professionals in tourism destination management choose, design and evaluate interventions that improve the social and economic impacts of tourism.

These impacts are experienced by inhabitants, workforce, businesses and visitors of destinations. Ideal are interventions that simultaneously improve the quality of experiences for visitors, the quality of life for inhabitants and the quality of work for people and businesses active in tourism

Examples of interventions are changes in the physical environment, such as creating new attractions, infrastructure or facilities or redeveloping existing ones. Another example involves the deployment of resources or measures (whether or not combined) to achieve the desired performance, for instance in the area of: 

  • Marketing, communication, storytelling, events
  • Legal measures such as regulations, guidelines
  • Financial incentives such as prices, taxes, subsidies
  • Smart (IT) solutions 
  • Facilitating innovation and knowledge development
  • The way the destination and its stakeholders are organised

Based on research we advise stakeholders, such as government bodies, societal organisations and business representatives, on which interventions to use in order to improve social and economic impacts of tourism. Moreover, we help them measure the impacts of tourism and the effects of interventions.    

No two destinations are the same. Some are confronted with overtourism, whereas others would welcome receiving more tourists. Some destinations already have data available to measure the effects of tourism, others don’t. Sometimes money is available for implementation and measurement, but more often than not, funding is scarce. This means that there are no one-size-fits-all solutions, but solutions always exist. Together with government bodies, societal organisations and business representatives, we look for feasible and sustainable solutions.  

The cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary research group consists out of:

  • Professor Jeroen Klijs
  • Ellen de Groot
  • Jos van der Sterren
  • Mylene van der Donk
  • Ondrej Mitas
  • Eugenio van Maanen
  • Rami Isaac
  • Simone Moretti
  • Jeroen Nawijn
  • Celiane Camargo-Borges

More research