Neolocalism: What? Why? Why Care?

By October 2, 2019Blog

“No one goes there nowadays, it’s too crowded.” ~ Yogi Berra

While the term neolocalism may be unfamiliar to some readers, all readers are familiar with the effects of neolocalism. Once limited to niche group of adventurers and tourists seeking the off the beaten path experience, millennials now drive the demand for an increasingly localized experience.

Neolocalism is a “conscious effort on the part of people to pursue ‘local’ things, which serves to connect these people to a particular place” (Mathews & Patton, 2016, p. 3). Additionally, millennials place high importance on environmental sustainability and a sense of community (Holtkamp et al., 2016). As such, there is often a rejection of globalized or homogenous products and experiences or those experiences deemed detrimental to the environment.

Our previous post examines gentrification and new urbanism in terms of living patterns. Related, millennials also seek unique foods, drinks, products, and tourist experiences. Abandoning the chain hotel in favor of the Airbnb in the heart of a non-touristy neighborhood, millennials pursue the authentic experience, wherever they visit (Mody & Koslowsky, 2019). These changing spending patterns represent an opportunity for us to reevaluate various economic drivers.

At AE, we consider the changing purchasing patterns of all demographic groups when conducting economic impact studies. No demographic group or community is too small to ignore in terms of the overall economic contributions. Our detailed analyses and forward thinking ensure your growth and economic security.



Holtkamp, C., Thomas Shelton, Graham Daly, Colleen C. Hiner & Ronald R. Hagelman III

(2016) Assessing Neolocalism in Microbreweries, Papers in Applied Geography, 2:1, 66-78, DOI: 10.1080/23754931.2015.1114514

Mathews, A.J. & Matthew T. Patton (2016): Exploring place marketing by American

microbreweries: neolocal expressions of ethnicity and race, Journal of Cultural Geography, DOI: 10.1080/08873631.2016.1145406

Mody, M. & Kyle Koslowsky (2019). Panacea or peril? The implication’s of neolocalism as a more intrusive form of tourism. Retrieved from


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