A global survey conducted in 15 countries by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and IPSOS reveals that citizens of large cities welcome the arrival of tourists to their city.
“To ensure that urban tourism continues to benefit local residents, it is essential to implement sustainable policies and practices. This includes regular monitoring of residents’ attitudes towards tourism and its factorization in the tourism agenda, “said UNWTO Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili.
Perceptions, countries and age
The impacts of tourism are valued more positively in Australia, Argentina, Sweden, the Republic of Korea and Spain. Young respondents (under 34 years of age) show a greater awareness of the positive and negative impacts of urban tourism, in contrast to older respondents (more than 50) who perceive less negative impacts. Younger respondents are also more likely to be in favor of more restrictive measures to manage the increase in tourism demand. Among the older respondents, only 5% think that tourism promotion should stop, and only 8% are in favor of limiting the number of visitors in their cities compared to 12% and 16% of younger respondents.
Respondents who travel frequently to international destinations (twice or more in the last year) are less likely to feel they live in cities with a large number of tourists compared to respondents who do not travel as often. Similarly, the perception of a positive impact of tourism is significantly higher among respondents who traveled last year.
Infrastructure and experiences – the most favored measures in all countries
With respect to possible measures to address the growing flows of tourism in cities, residents of the 15 countries consider that “improving infrastructure and facilities” is the most effective. In Hungary, 89% of respondents highlighted this measure as the most appropriate, followed by Italy (80%) and Argentina (79%).
Similarly, “create experiences and attractions that benefit both residents and visitors” is the second preferred management strategy and extremely popular in all countries (82% in Canada and Hungary, 75% and 74% in Argentina and Republic of Korea, respectively).