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New UNWTO report helps cities manage impact of tourism

A new World Tourism Organisation, UNWTO report meant  to manage growing urban tourism flows and their impact on cities and residents, Overtourism? Understanding and managing urban tourism growth beyond perceptions,  has been  launched.

The report  presented at the  7th UNWTO Global Summit on Urban Tourism, in Seoul, Republic of Korea, examines how to manage tourism in urban destinations to the benefit of visitors and residents alike.

It proposes 11 strategies and 68 measures to help understand and manage visitor growth. The report is the result of collaboration between UNWTO, the Centre of Expertise Leisure, Tourism & Hospitality, CELTH, Breda University of Applied Sciences and the European Tourism Futures Institute, ETFI of NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences.

The recent growth of urban tourism requires the sector to ensure sustainable policies and practices that minimise adverse effects of tourism on the use of natural resources, infrastructure, mobility and congestion, as well as its socio-cultural impact.

Increased reports of negative attitudes among local populations towards visitors, due to perceived overcrowding, noise and other issues, have led to the spread of terms such as overtourism and tourismphobia in the media.

“Governance is key. Addressing the challenges facing urban tourism today is a much more complex issue than is commonly recognised. We need to set a sustainable roadmap for urban tourism and place tourism in the wider urban agenda,” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili. “We must also ensure local communities see and benefit from the positive aspects of tourism,” he added.

To better understand visitor management, challenges in urban contexts, particularly the relationship between residents and visitors, the report includes an analysis of residents’ perceptions towards tourism in eight European cities – Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Copenhagen, Lisbon, Munich, Salzburg and Tallinn.


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