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News Article

UNWTO/WTCF City Tourism Performance Research

Study of 15 tourist cities

The World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF) and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).have combined to publish the success stories of 15 different cities worldwide with the objective of enabling other cities to observe and learn from them. The research also includes a summary of UNWTO’s report on New Platform Tourism Services (or the Sharing Economy), considering the impact of the same in urban tourism and development overall.

The cities chosen for the study are ones judged to have outstanding performance in tourism development from around the world. Based on the case studies of the development of these tourism cities, measurable criteria and replicable models are established, and classic cases of “well-designed and well-managed tourism” for world tourism cities presented.

The cities discussed in the publication are Buenos Aires, Linz, Antwerp, Beijing, Hangzhou, Tianjin, Bogota, Copenhagen, Berlin, Turin, Sapporo, Tokyo, Marrakech, Seoul and Cape Town – so good representation from Asia and Europe particularly, but no North American cities included. For each city, there is an introduction including basic facts, infrastructure and connectivity, an overview of key attractions, and details on tourism flow, source markets, and economic impact and/or tourism enterprises. Key performance areas including destination management and other areas such as social perspectives or use of technology are presented, and success stories of individual attractions, sites or businesses are reported on for each city.

The Executive Summary lists ten general success factors identified as contributing to city tourism success. The first listed is ‘Long-term vision and strategic planning’, which is identified as being the core to success. The strategic plan often comprises short and mid-term objectives, regular performance reviews and allows for revision if needed. Other success factors include economic support for tourism businesses, community engagement, investment in cultural heritage, the creation of new attractions and tourism services, and hosting of events to improve their positioning and/or mitigate seasonality. Technology is also discussed, through concepts such as smart cities, the sharing economy, and the use of Big Data.

It is estimated by UN-Habitat that by 2050, 70% of the world’s population will be living in cities. Former UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai says in a Forward to the report that it is essential to monitor tourism performance in urban destinations and clearly address areas for improvement, with the aim of assisting policy makers and all other stakeholders in their efforts of building a better urban tourism governance and management.

Download UNWTO/WTCF City Tourism Performance Research from the UNWTO publications site.

Article details

  • Author(s)
  • David Simpson
  • Date
  • 27 February 2018
  • Subject(s)
  • Tourism