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30 September 2019

The profound impact of urban tourism

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Urban tourism has an important impact on cities because it not only promotes social relationships and knowledge, it also leaves a deep economic footprint. A global survey conducted by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and IPSOS shows a positive picture of local residents’ perceptions towards urban tourism, with 52% of respondents thinking tourism has a big or moderate impact in generating wealth and income.

To better manage the issues arising from the growing tourism demand in urban destinations it is essential to understand residents’ experiences and perceptions about this type of tourism. This has been the motivation for the survey by UNWTO and market research firm IPSOS based on the online responses of 12,000 respondents in 15 countries.

47% of respondents think “they live in cities with a large number of tourists.” And although 52% of respondents think tourism has a big or moderate impact in generating wealth and income, 46% think it “creates overcrowding.”

49% of respondents feel that there should be measures to better manage tourism. Respondents are most supportive of measures to “improve infrastructure and facilities” (72%) and “create experiences and attractions that benefit both residents and visitors” (71%), whereas only 12% think that there should be limitations to the number of visitors.