WTTC presents urban tourism growth report


The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), in coordination with JLL, presented a new global index assessing the preparation of 50 cities to address the future growth of tourism

Aware of the challenges that accompany the industry’s performance, the WTTC set itself the task of addressing the topic of leadership in destination management in 2017 through the report “Management of Overcrowding in Tourist Destinations”, which was developed together with McKinsey & Company. Now, the new research raises what are the factors that make a city ready to face the growth of Travel and Tourism.

The so-called “industry without chimneys” is essential for the economy as it contributes 10.4% to global GDP and has been responsible for the creation of one in five new jobs in the last five years.

Cities and urban tourism drive the growth of both a country and the tourism sector on a significant scale. These are global hubs that accelerate business, innovation and job creation around the world. Today, more than half the world’s population (55 per cent) live in urban areas and is expected to increase to 68 per cent by 2050. Estimates show that urbanization and population growth could add an additional 2.5 billion of people to urban areas by 2050.

According to the new research, of the 1.4 billion international visitors who crossed borders in 2018 for tourist purposes, 45% traveled to visit cities. In addition, international arrivals to the 300 largest city tourist destinations accounted for more than 500 million trips last year.

The newly created index brings together a wide range of destination practices and attributes to determine the level and type of preparation they have. The ranks range from emerging market tourism centers to established with different levels of infrastructure.

The report defined five typologies, depending on the level of preparation:

• Beginning Developers
• Emerging players
• Balanced dynamics
• Mature Actors
• Impulse management

Highlights and key findings include:

Emerging Actors and Beginning Developers

  • Cities in these categories tend to be in emerging countries, with a lower level of urban preparedness. In order to improve their development, efforts should focus on deploying and improving infrastructure, airport connectivity, housing stock and addressing environmental problems such as water quality and waste. Among these cities are: Bogota, Cairo, Delhi and Istanbul.

Mature Actors and Balanced Dynamics

  • These factors represent cities with established urban preparedness and tourism infrastructure, but still without having seen many overt signs of tourist pressure among comparable data. According to the results of the research, the metropolis in these two categories are in the most favorable position and ready to manage current levels of growth. In this segment are: New York, London, Auckland, Berlin (Mature), Singapore, Beijing, Osaka and Hong Kong (Balanced).

Impulse management

  • European and North American cities, such as Amsterdam, Barcelona and San Francisco, occupy the entire category of Impulse Management. These cities have seen a major boost in tourism growth in recent years, but at the same time they have experienced tourism pressures or are at risk of facing potential problems.

    Gloria Guevara, President and CEO of WTTC, said: “We are delighted to launch Destino 2030, our first comprehensive assessment of the preparation of cities for tourism growth, through the development of a unique methodology to evaluate and provide solutions for promoting sustainable growth in tourism “.

    “Tourism authorities in many of the world’s major cities are working hard to prepare for the future. But for a city to really thrive, and for Travel and Tourism to develop in a sustainable way, the city, promoters, investors, legislators and community groups must understand how prepared this metropolis is for future tourism growth, and the challenges and opportunities it may face”.

“Whether a city is looking to strengthen its tourism industry or manage growth, the approach must be strategic, purposeful and complete, by considering all the components that make up the character of a locality, policies can be implemented that achieve the best results potential for business leaders, community members and visitors, “said Dan Fenton, JLL Executive Vice President.

To see the full report and to better understand how cities around the world are responding to these growing pressures, visit www.wttc.org/publications