According to the first ever global survey conducted by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and IPSOS, 47% of respondents think « they live in cities with a high number of tourists ». Better is the fact that over 50% considers tourism has a positive impact in generating wealth and promoting cultural exchanges, and 49% feel there should be measures to improve tourism management (but from 75% in Argentina to only 24% in Japan); and only 12% of respondents favour limitations to the number of visitors.
This online survey was conducted across 15 countries * and targeted 12,000 people to better understand residents’ perception towards city tourism, its impacts and management strategies.
If nearly half of all respondents (47%) think « they live in a city with a high number of visitors », results vary significantly across countries, ranging from 68% in Australia to only 33% in France.
- The generation of wealth and income, the creation of intercultural exchanges and of new offers of leisure activities stand out as the biggest impacts on cities.
- The perception of tourism’s positive impacts is particularly strong in Argentina, Australia, the Republic of Korea, Spain, and Sweden.
- For many urban destinations around the world, addressing the challenges of growing tourism demand and adequately managing tourist flows is now a priority.
Of all respondents, over 70% think these measures should focus on improving infrastructure and facilities as well as in creating attractions for both tourists and residents. Only 12% think measures should include the limitation of the number visitors and only 9% considered that tourism promotion should be stopped.
« Today, adequately managing tourism to the benefit of visitors and residents alike, ensuring that local communities are listened to and benefit from tourism is more important than ever. There is a pressing need to set a roadmap for urban tourism which is fully aligned with the urban agenda« , said UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili.
Other Key findings:
- The mixed-picture of the perceived impacts rising from urban tourism in the different countries demonstrates the complexity of economic, social and environmental issues faced by destinations today : positive side, 52% think tourism has « a big or moderate impact in generating wealth and income »; on the other spectrum, 46% think it « creates overcrowding ».
- Respondents are most receptive to the following measures: « improve infrastructures and facilities » (72%), « create experiences and attractions that benefit both residents and visitors » (71%), and « ensure local communities benefit from tourism » (65%).
This UNWTO / IPSOS survey on was part of the IPSOS Online omnibus (Global@dvisor) December 2018 wave fieldwork between 21 January 2018 and 14 January 2019.
* Country Sample :
Republic of Korea (500)
United Kingdom (1000)
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