NGPS 2021

Each year the National Geography and Planning Symposium takes place in a different city. This year, study association Mundus will be our host as the NGPS will take place in the city of Nijmegen, if the COVID-19 measures allow such a symposium. Anyhow, the symposium will take place on the 26th of February.

The theme for this year is: “Tourism, a journey into its challenges”. Below, you can find the theoretical framework for a broad introduction on this topic.

Theoretical framework NGPS 2021


As a tourist you travel the world and discover other environments. Here you can learn from the people around you and undergo all kinds of new impressions. Tourist destinations receive money from outside their region and this often makes an important contribution to the local economy. City marketing also plays a role in this and allows cities to profile themselves in such a way that the right tourist comes to a city. However, tourism can also have negative consequences. For example, traveling to a new destination is often not sustainable, local communities deal with “overtourism”, and it appears that the tourism sector is not as secure as we had hoped, for example during a pandemic like now. During the NGPS on February 26, students of geography and planning from five different cities will learn more about this from the professionals who know everything about tourism. Here the topics of overtourism, sustainable tourism, city marketing and the impact of corona on tourism are discussed.


“Overtourism describes destinations where hosts or guests, locals or visitors, feel that there are too many visitors and that the quality of life in the area or the quality of the experience has deteriorated unacceptably.” (Goodwin, 2017, p. 1). Overtourism can therefore be seen as something that overwhelms a tourist destination if there is too little support for the number of tourists that come. This can lead to irritation and anger among the local population, who no longer recognize their own city or country. This depends on local policy and is therefore different in every city. During the NGPS we wish to discuss the causes and consequences of this.

Sustainable tourism

Direct emissions from the tourism sector are estimated at about 5 percent of the total worldwide (Buckley, 2012). The local environment, for example the air and water quality of a tourist destination, also suffers from this sector. It is therefore not surprising that more and more companies, authorities and researchers are debating this issue. Research is being conducted into the influence of tourists on the local identity and environment, and into how the tourism sector could develop a sustainable policy here. This is therefore an important topic during the NGPS. What will the future of the tourism sector look like? And how is sustainable tourism possible?

City marketing

“City marketing is a long-term process consisting of various, interrelated activities aimed at attracting and retaining specific target groups for a particular area.” (Hospers, 2011). City marketing looks at what makes a city unique, and how the specific combination of physical space, demography, and the image of the city influence which tourists and residents are attracted. City marketing tries to steer this and can thus determine the future tourist. At the NGPS we therefore want to focus on the influence of city marketing on tourism.

Corona and tourism

The current global crisis surrounding the coronavirus has had a major impact on contemporary and future tourism. The first effects of the virus became visible at the beginning of the crisis when companies and organizations decided to cancel a very large number of trips. This was primarily due to the number of restrictions and closing borders (Fernandes, 2020). How is tourism taking shape during this pandemic? And will this change the tourism industry permanently? We wish to delve into this subject at the NGPS and discover more about it.