How Demarketing Can Reduce the Growing Influx of Tourists?

How Demarketing Can Reduce the Growing Influx of Tourists?

Faced with the constant growth of tourism, the principles of demarketing are increasingly used by destinations to limit the impact on the local population. The tourism sector is generating more and more visitors, and UNWTO estimates that by 2030, 4 million tourists will be added to the 1.4 billion people already travelling.

For many destinations, managing this boom is a significant challenge. Many of them find themselves, victims of their success, when their infrastructure was not designed to support such an increase. Demarketing offers some possible solutions in response to these challenges.

What Is Demarketing?
Strategies You Can Apply to Manage the Growing Influx of Tourists

What Is Demarketing?

Far from being new, this concept, proposed in 1971 by Philip Kotler and Sidney Levy, is based on the idea that surpluses can be as problematic as shortages. The authors, economists, and marketers respectively, define demarketing as the aspect of marketing that aims to discourage customers (or a particular segment) on a temporary or permanent basis.

This type of strategy is already widely used in specific sectors, particularly in public health. Think of advertisements on cigarette packs or even those inviting the population to consume alcohol and game sensibly. Therefore, the idea is to limit the increase in demand rather than encourage it since growth would have negative repercussions on society.

In the current tourism context, more and more managers must reflect on this notion. Should we at all costs attract as many visitors as possible in the name of economic development?

The graph shows the total number of tourists in millions at different places for the year 2021-2022
The graph shows the total number of tourists in millions at different places for the year 2021-2022

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Strategies You Can Apply to Manage the Growing Influx of Tourists

How do develop a demarketing approach? The strategies to be adopted are based on the same principles as traditional marketing: the 4Ps (promotion, place, product, price). With the help of a few examples, let's see how these strategies fit together in the context of tourism marketing.


When a tourist area can no longer manage the flow of visitors it attracts, and the attractions and infrastructure are oversaturated, one possible solution is to stop all forms of promotion.

The Netherlands Destination Management Organization (DMO) recently did this by announcing that it would focus its energy on managing the destination rather than promoting it.

Only little-known regions will be the subject of an international campaign. After having announced the inter-seasons, this measure comes as a last resort, relocated the famous letters "I amsterdam", and made tourists aware of inappropriate behaviour.

IAmsterdam Sign Removed
IAmsterdam Sign Removed


The notion of place often refers to the location of a service or business. The geolocation of attractions now makes the best-kept treasures accessible to everyone. However, this practice has consequences for the environment since specific sites, which would otherwise have remained unknown, quickly become very frequent.

In response to this phenomenon, the OGD of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, launched a campaign urging visitors to geotag their photos responsibly, using generic coordinates of a site rather than the exact location of the image.

Message by Jackson Hole to Tourists
Message by Jackson Hole to Tourists

Similarly, the World Heritage Site of Puerto Princesa, in the Philippines, wanted to limit the number of visitors to specific fragile sites by simply removing them from the tourist cards it produces.


The characteristics of the product directly influence the demand for it. Thus, in a marketing strategy, the product will be intentionally made less attractive. In the case of a destination, we can think of managing tourist flows, such as the imposition of quotas or the introduction of limited time slots.

Bruce Peninsula National Park in Ontario has already implemented this type of measure. Visitors should reserve a four-hour time slot to experience the busiest area of ​​the park.


Raising access tariffs is the fourth strategy discussed in this article. This is a practice that the City of Venice is exploring. Postponed several times, one of its projects aims to introduce a fixed tax to all visitors who do not stay at least one night in the city or do not have the Venezia Unica card.

It should be noted that this type of initiative can be more controversial, particularly in a destination context, particularly natural or heritage sites, since it creates an issue of equity and favours people who can pay.

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Demarketing can therefore help manage the growing influx of tourists. However, before arriving there, there is nothing like good territorial planning upstream. Apart from the basic steps, there are various strategies available to adopt for demarketing.

Demarketing is the exact opposite of marketing. In marketing, advertisements are used to increase the sale of a product. Whereas in demarketing, advertisements are responsible for the reduction in the sale of a particular product. Especially it is applied for the things that are facing a shortage.

The above article explains the use of demarketing strategies to get some help in the influx of tourists. It is mainly done to protect nature and prevent any harm to localities.


The concept of demarketing was introduced by?

The concept was introduced by Phillip Kotler and Sidney Levy in 1971.

What is meant by demarketing?

In simple terms, demarketing means trying out different ways to reduce the use of a particular product that is in demand but with minimum supply.

What are the types of demarketing strategies?

There are multiple types of demarketing strategies. Some of them are Bait and switch marketing, Price discriminating demarketing, Stock outage demarketing, Differentiation marketing, Crowding cost demarketing, etc.

What are the four Ps of demarketing strategy?

The 4Ps of the demarketing strategy are the same as that of the marketing strategy. Place, Promotion, Product, and Price are the 4Ps included in the basic principle of the demarketing Process.

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