There is widespread recognition among governments and transnational agencies, such as the United Nations, that the world’s population is increasingly urbanizing. Whilst estimates of the world’s urban population vary, there is a consensus among bodies such as the UN that the world’s urban population has risen from 14% of the total in 1900 to 47% in 2000 and is expected to grow to 61% by 2030. This is particularly noticeable in the rise of megacities with populations in excess of 10 million (e.g. Tokyo, Mexico City, New York, Mumbai and Sao Paolo) and we will see the volume of people living in cities rise from 3 billion in 2002 to 5 billion by 2030, dominated by growth in middle and low-income countries, particularly in Asia. This…show more content… Paradoxes inherent in urban tourism
The questions ‘Why do tourists visit cities?’ and ‘Who are the urban tourists? There are of course closely related. Answers to the first should produce the market typologies that answer the second. There are three major difficulties that have hampered attempts to answer these two clearly quite fundamental questions.
First, to echo a point already made in a different context, visiting a city and being attracted by its urban features may not be the same. Simply, travel has grown enormously and continuously over the past 30 years and much of this has inevitably involved cities if only because they contain the major concentrations of transport, accommodation and other travel related infrastructure that supports that travel, as highlighted in the hierarchical distinction between world and non-world…show more content… It may be that the question is rarely posed because the answers are assumed to be either more or less self-evident or of less importance than the wider questions about motives and impacts. Once the visitor has been attracted to the city and their impacts, whether positive or negative have been experienced, the finer details of the encounter between tourist and place may seem less relevant. The attention of place planners and managers is generally focused on the detailed marketing and management of tourism destinations rather than on the broader assumptions, upon which it is based, guided by little more than conventional wisdom and the results of often very small scale individual case studies (see for example Pearce, 2005). However the existing academic research into the conduct of the tourist in the urban destination can be grouped into four, often assumed, behavioral characteristics, namely, selectivity, rapidity, infrequency and capriciousness.
4. Implications for urban tourism research
We argue here that any analysis of urban tourism needs to explain and understand the dynamics of urban change and evolution arising from the implications of new theoretical insights in urban studies. Whilst a few examples exist that begin to frame explanations of urban change associated with globalization, a more spatial and theoretical