Skip to main content

About this book

This book critically explores the interconnections between tourism and the contemporary city from a policy-oriented standpoint, combining tourism perspectives with discussion of urban models, issues, and challenges. Research-based analyses addressing managerial issues and evaluating policy implications are described, and a comprehensive set of case studies is presented to demonstrate practices and policies in various urban contexts. A key message is that tourism policies should be conceived as integrated urban policies that promote tourism performance as a means of fostering urban quality and the well-being of local communities, e.g., in terms of quality spaces, employment, accessibility, innovation, and learning opportunities. In addition to highlighting the significance of urban tourism in relation to key urban challenges, the book reflects on the risks and tensions associated with its development, including the rise of anti-tourism movements as a reaction to touristification, cultural commodification, and gentrification. Attention is drawn to asymmetries in the costs and benefits of the city tourism phenomenon, and the supposedly unavoidable trade-off between the interests of residents and tourists is critically questioned.

Table of Contents


Global Context, Policies and Practices in Urban Tourism: An Introduction

Tourism is undergoing fundamental changes with regard to market, industry structure and the product itself; changes driven by an even more fundamental transition to ‘post-modern’ patterns of consumption that makes tourism one of the benchmarks of modes of production and consumption in the knowledge economy. Tourism plays, quantitatively and qualitatively, an unprecedented role in shaping economic development, while consolidated tourism models should rapidly adapt themselves to a new and changing reality. This chapter introduces and provides the background for the discussion developed in this book, which addresses multiple interconnections between tourism and the city from a policy-oriented research standpoint. After an overview of trends characterising city tourism in the global context, the chapter focuses on Europe, where city tourism has been the most dynamic tourism segment. However, besides EU engagement with the development of a tourism policy framework, urban tourism seems to play a secondary role in the European tourism vision, in which tourism is interpreted as a potential economic alternative for lagging areas where other economic drivers have been historically weak. Through discussion of possible explanations, the chapter develops an analysis of the EU Urban Portal to outline tourism representation in connection with the urban agenda of the European Union and concludes by presenting this book’s structure.
Cecilia Pasquinelli, Nicola Bellini

Urban Tourism: Defining the Research Scene and Dimensions


Tourism Connectivity and Spatial Complexity: A Widening Bi-dimensional Arena of Urban Tourism Research

This chapter outlines the frontiers of the city tourism debate and highlights the emerging analytical issues that are widening the urban tourism research agenda. It provides an updated frame for tourism research by attempting to underline the urban character of travelling and, hence, to overcome the view of city tourism as a negligible element in the process of urban and economic development. The chapter is based on a review of academic papers and books, with particular attention paid to recent publications. It advocates a shift of perspective in urban tourism research, which is explained as a change of the unit of analysis for observation in the field and discussed from both a spatial and a conceptual viewpoint. This provides a starting point for future research projects, acknowledging the need for a greater sophistication of the cognitive tools used to analyse the contemporary urban tourism phenomenon.
Cecilia Pasquinelli

Mind the Gap: Reconceptualising Inclusive Development in Support of Integrated Urban Planning and Tourism Development

This chapter proposes a model of integrated access in the promotion of an integrated agenda for urban planning and urban tourism development. The underlying assertion of the conceptual framework presented is that sustainable urban tourism development is reliant on inclusive development that works to balance the needs of both visitors and locals in the production of urban tourisms. The core challenge in achieving an integrated approach lies in the identified disconnect between existing tourism development and urban planning practices. In addressing this challenge, a reconceptualisation of inclusive tourism development is offered, which focuses on the promotion of integrated access across economic, spatial and institutional spheres.
Lauren Uğur

Emerging Technologies and Cultural Tourism: Opportunities for a Cultural Urban Tourism Research Agenda

The aim of this work is to highlight how the ‘traditional’ approach to cultural tourism should be rethought as part of a broader vision, in which the latest technological devices (smartphones, tablet PCs) and new developments in the ‘smart city’ paradigm can help in the planning and programming of cultural tourism. To this end, this chapter is organized into three main sections: the first shows how cultural tourism is enhanced today because of new technologies, the second offers a brief overview of how the tourism of cultural heritage has been inserted into the domain of smart tourism and how it is being enhanced today, and the third focuses on opportunities for taking a strategic approach to cultural tourism, in order to go beyond local fragmentary promotions, allowing tourists to perceive all cultural offers for a single destination as unique. Finally, conclusions are drawn, with particular attention given to the construction of specific recommendations for the strategic planning and programming of cultural tourism.
Chiara Garau

On The Move: Emerging Fields of Transport Research in Urban Tourism

Urban centres and metropolitan regions have become increasingly prominent amongst tourist destination choice, at the same time they are in many cases characterised by huge transport and accessibility problems in the form of traffic congestions, packed public transport systems and overcrowded pedestrian zones. Therefore the contribution aims at a broader understanding of the interrelation of tourism and transport studies, when it comes to dealing with urban tourism development. The article will address sociological aspects such as the blurring nature of tourists and residents, as well as psychological issues in relation to the role of identity and motivations when it comes to transport behaviour, and last but not least technical changes and innovations such as intermodality and the growing role of e-ticketing systems. Resulting in a brief research agenda on transport related topics in the context of urban tourism studies.
Werner Gronau

The Participatory Place Branding Process for Tourism: Linking Visitors and Residents Through the City Brand

This chapter contributes towards a holistic understanding of city brand formation centring on the goal of harmonising residents’ views and internal perspectives of the city with urban tourism goals and externally oriented branding efforts. The main premise is that in order to capture the ways in which place brands actually operate and form, it is necessary to capture and enable negotiations of meaning and change. This is particularly the case in the contemporary tourism environment with its emphasis on interactive and co-created destination brands. The chapter’s main proposition is the participatory place branding process, which incorporates a novel understanding of the formation of the place brand and how this might be influenced by destinations. The interrelated stages of this process are suggested as a valuable tool in destination branding efforts to develop co-created destination brands that incorporate external and internal meanings of the locality while addressing market challenges.
Mihalis Kavaratzis

Globetrotters and Brands: Cities in an Emerging Communicative Space

This chapter presents and discusses a new communicative space in which contemporary cities exists. The outset of such a space is the result of two interrelated developments. First, international tourism has become a viable source of income for cities causing them to compete with each other for potential visitors. As a result, cities have widely embraced the practice of city branding for promoting themselves as touristic destinations. Second, the rise of social media use in such branding projects brought cities closer to their target audiences—at least in terms of communication. The new communicative space concept, therefore, explains a situation in which target audiences, including residents and potential visitors, interact with each other and contribute to the establishment of the reputation of a city, or its brand.
Efe Sevin

The Construction of an Emerging Tourist Destination and Its Related Human Capital Challenges

An emergent destination wishing to develop tourism has to think about its workforce and provide a sufficient volume of workers. This chapter highlights the importance of examining the performance and competitiveness of the tourist sector in an emerging destination, through the impulse of national tourism policies and through a better management of human resources, both on a macro and micro levels. The stakes perceived by the tourism professionals in Algeria are investigated, with a focus on Oran, the second biggest city of Algeria and capital of tourism, on the south shore of the Mediterranean basin. The first part is dedicated to a review of literature that will allow exploring the distinctive issues related to hospitality and the tourism sector. This part will also highlight the way international chains are expanding, focusing on a high quality of service and attaching importance to human capital management, as a key factor for optimizing guest’s satisfaction. Then, both a documentary study, exploring the strategy of an emerging destination in matter of tourism development and a qualitative analysis, based on interviews led with professionals of the sector, will be exposed. The results show that the volume of students in tourism and hospitality is widely insufficient to meet the needs, that the capacity of welcoming tourists is above all perceived as a cultural question. As a driver of economic development, managing a city as a tourism destination needs to ensure both sustainable growth and an ability to cope with human capital challenges in the industry.
Assya Khiat, Nathalie Montargot

Urban Coastal Tourism and Climate Change: Indicators for a Mediterranean Prospective

Urban theory ignores generally urban coastal tourism. This tourism, which mixes a wide range of cultural and leisure activities, faces the impacts of climate change, which accelerates sea-level rise and extreme weather events. Indicators identified in the literature concerning urban coastal tourism are not numerous according to their relationships with environmental, economic, social and ethical factors. This chapter is preliminary to a Mediterranean research for MEDCOP 21 projects in order to establish a system of indicators as a tool aimed at urban planners and local authorities for decision-making and prospective research as well to indicate how to evaluate the new smart tourism concept.
Robert Lanquar

Visitor Streams in City Destinations: Towards New Tools for Measuring Urban Tourism

City destinations are central in the study of tourism. But how can visitor streams related to the destination characteristics and visitor segments be analysed and discussed as a basis for improvement of the destination? This research used statistical data and qualitative information as “knowledge indicators” rather than as “unambiguous facts”. The research included analysis of about 100 destination plans, a pilot study of statistics and qualitative destination information about Stockholm, and a literature review. It resulted in the development of the visitor stream concept, which can be used in future research on the integration of various visitor segment streams. A method for analysing visitor streams is suggested: (1) defining “focused destination” and its characteristics, (2) investigating quantitative and qualitative destination information, (3) identifying visitor segments, and (4) analysing streams with new destination tools. The knowledge gained will introduce and address new issues concerning statistics for measuring, monitoring and assessing the actual value of tourism, particularly urban tourism.
Göran Andersson

The Construction of Multiple City ‘Products’ Through Culture, Creativity and Heritage: Principles, Policies and Practices


Museumification of Historical Centres: The Case of Frankfurt Altstadt Reconstruction

The modernisation of Frankfurt’s destroyed Altstadt, followed by the gradual formation of a skyline nearby, were both results of a post-war decision that rejected reconstruction as a common solution. Current planning and image-making in Frankfurt takes a major turn; alongside the dominant image of an important global player, implementation of a certain replica of destroyed medieval city is underway. The focus on this specific case aims to bring understanding to the museumification of urban centres as a phenomenon driven by the interests of competing present-day agendas. The revival of the historical Altstadt in Frankfurt certainly raises some threats, such as commodification of culture, museumification of heritage, production of themed public spaces, and overall touristification. However, this intervention is also an opportunity to soften established negative image of cold financial metropolis, enrich diversity of public spaces, create identification point for local residents, and finally make Frankfurt more visible on tourist maps.
Nebojša Čamprag

Heritage and Urban Regeneration: Towards Creative Tourism

The question of how cities can capitalise on cultural legacy hybridisation to activate effective and sustainable urban regeneration has still not been fully answered. This chapter presents a conceptual framework based on public–private participation in cultural legacy hybridisation, designed to interpret the determinants and forms of urban regeneration and consider their possible implications for urban tourism. The framework’s application to a multiple case study analysis, focusing on three small and medium-sized Italian cities, has validated its interpretative capacity. In Pompei public investment in culture has proved to be almost entirely unproductive; in Trento public-driven regeneration has allowed for value creation through cultural heritage hybridisation; in Lecce stakeholder engagement in communities of practice is the driver of socio-economic value and innovation. Urban tourism in these cities is closely connected to the nature of their urban regeneration: cultural tourism in Pompei, its combination with creative tourism in Trento and innovative forms of tourism in Lecce.
Maria Della Lucia, Mariapina Trunfio, Frank M. Go

Building Košice European Capital of Culture: Towards a Creative City?

This chapter aims to identify the most important success factors leading to the reinvention and development of Košice as a creative city. The catalyst shifting Košice from an industrial city to a modern creative twenty-first century city was the award of the title European Capital of Culture in 2013. Changes in its cultural infrastructure produced various events that created a new development impulse in the city’s cultural life. Implementation of project Interface, realisation of investment projects, organisation of hundreds of events and revitalisation of urban spaces and places began the overall transformation of the city, increasing its attractiveness for citizens, tourists, entrepreneurs and investors.
Kamila Borseková, Anna Vaňová, Katarína Vitálišová

The Role of Fashion for Tourism: An Analysis of Florence as a Manufacturing Fashion City and Beyond

The aim of this chapter is to contribute to the academic debate on the fashion city definition and foster some economic implications for tourism. First, two main approaches in the debate are discussed: a supply-side perspective, which defines a fashion city as a ‘manufacturing fashion city’ based on its physical image and presence of a garment industry, and a demand-side perspective, which deploys the term ‘symbolic fashion city’ in line with its virtual image and new information and communication technologies. The city of Florence is then examined; traditionally defined as a city of art, Florence is also a creative city characterised by the presence of a significant fashion- and design-manufacturing cluster. Our analysis includes the re-emergence of Florence as a widely recognised major fashion city in both Italy and abroad. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the role the fashion industry plays in cultivating the image of the city, fostering local competitive advantage, and increasing its appeal as a tourist destination.
Luciana Lazzeretti, Francesco Capone, Patrizia Casadei

Does Recurrence Matter? The Impact of Music Festivals on Local Tourist Competitiveness

Despite an increasing interest in recurrent events, we still lack a comprehensive view of their drivers and their consequences for the host location. This chapter seeks to redress this shortcoming by analysing the effects of recurrent events on national and international tourist flows and on the differentiation of demand targets at host locations. Through a qualitative approach based on six recurrent European music festivals we contribute to the growing literature and shed additional light on the effects of recurrent events. A theoretical framework is proposed to explain the impact of recurrent events on tourist flows and demand targets.
Matteo Caroli, Alfredo Valentino

Enhancing the Tourism Image of Italian Regions Through Urban Events: The Case of Steve McCurry’s Sensational Umbria Exhibition

The study analyses the case of the Sensational Umbria photography exhibition by Steve McCurry, held in Perugia in 2014. The event proved to be of particular interest, not only for its success in terms of visitors number and impact on the media, but in particular for the innovative use of a photo exhibition for the purpose of promoting tourism in the region. The paper, after a theoretical introduction on the relationship between tourism events and destination image, offers an analysis of the event from different perspectives: economic impact, visitor satisfaction, and effect on the media. The methodology has been twofold, involving both desk analysis and a survey conducted by administering a questionnaire to 455 visitors. The results that emerge illustrate a situation that, while generally positive, leaves margins for improvement, especially in terms of greater involvement by local stakeholders.
Luca Ferrucci, Silvia Sarti, Simone Splendiani, María Cordente Rodríguez

Rediscovering the “Urban” in Two Italian Tourist Coastal Cities

This chapter appreciates the role of tourism within the more holistic framework of urban policy in the context of coastal cities. Through an investigation of two medium-sized Italian cities (Rimini and Pesaro), the study addresses the paucity of literature on regeneration strategies conducted in coastal areas where tourism has already reached a mature stage of development. The idea of a “culture city” emerges as the most appropriate pathway to innovation, change and progress in line with the several, albeit often criticised, examples of culture-led regeneration in urban studies. The discourse analysis of the strategic plans of each city emphasises the different role that the sea and the seaside play in each location. Rimini explicitly includes these factors as pivotal cultural resources, which is evident in the innovative concept of “sea wellness”. Pesaro, on the other hand, does not attribute a specific role to the sea and the seaside; they are instead simply juxtaposed with a vibrant city centre that appeals to business and cultural tourists.
Chiara Rabbiosi, Massimo Giovanardi

City Tourism Performance and Urban Wellbeing: Tensions, Risks and Potential Trade-Offs


Venice Reshaped? Tourist Gentrification and Sense of Place

This chapter is aimed to explore the role of tourism in reshaping historical cities, particularly into forms of cosmopolitan consumption. New mobility paradigms seem to merge production and consumption patterns of tourists and residents, all influenced by similar gazing and performing places. The iconic case of Venice shows patterns of staged authenticity, reconstructed ethnicity, and economy of subordination. Drivers to visit Venice include experiences in a setting that is densely characterised by cultural heritage; however, the tourist monoculture and cosmopolitan consumption have depleted the original elements of this attraction: traditional places, residents, livelihoods, material and immaterial cultures. Culture markets and international events, architectural and environmental restoration, together with private forms of transport in the fragile lagoon ecosystem, have transformed the historical city and its unique lifestyle into a place for cosmopolitan consumption, involving tourists together with new residents, sometimes integrating wealthy long-term residents in this overall tourism gentrification. Deprived of great part of what is considered to be the old and conservative block of residents, the gentrified residents acquire spaces for their cultural activities and political acts in their ‘saving Venice’ projects. Two gentrifying groups are described in this chapter: super rich with their philanthropic associations, and intellectuals. Despite clear differences in their causes and agency, both share common visions over leisurely uses of the lagoon city, artistic production and consumption of its heritage. Sustainability questions could instead propose to start from local memories to reconstruct Venice as a complex urban space with more inclusive sense of place.
Paola Minoia

Urban Tourism Development in Prague: From Tourist Mecca to Tourist Ghetto

Prague has become a significant tourist destination in Europe over the past 25 years. This development has been rapid and unbalanced. This chapter will deal with the changing socio-spatial patterns of tourism in the historic centre of Prague, with a particular focus on the Royal Way. Based on a combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods (such as in-depth interviews with local residents, an analysis of retail outlets on the Royal Way, and an analysis of secondary statistical data on tourism and economic development in Prague), the changing business activities in the historic centre of Prague and their impact on the local community and tourism itself will be analysed. The findings will show that privatisation, restitution, as well as the absence of tourism management have had a profound impact on tourism in Prague, and have contributed to the creation of a tourist ghetto on the Royal Way.
Veronika Dumbrovská

From Barcelona: The Pearl of the Mediterranean to Bye Bye Barcelona

Urban Movement and Tourism Management in a Mediterranean City
Nowadays large cities, by modifying their internal functioning and capacity for external projection, are becoming powerful nodes of tourist attraction. Barcelona is undergoing just such a process both intensively and paradigmatically as it has experienced continued growth in tourism supply and demand over the past 20 years. Since the mid-nineties, Barcelona has become a renowned international destination and indisputable reference point for urban tourism which, in turn, has generated a significant transformation of its economy, society and urban development; none of which are exempt from criticism or contradictions. In a venture to create a tourist model for the city, the Barcelona City Council introduced the City of Barcelona Strategic Tourism Plan in 2008. At the heart of this strategic plan was an attempt at dialogue between the administration itself and all the other players involved, including the city’s residents, about how tourism development could be regulated, the measures required and what the image of the city to be presented internationally should be.
Nadia Fava, Saida Palou Rubio

Green Tourism: Attractions and Initiatives of Polish Cittaslow Cities

Green tourism is a dynamically growing world trend. Also cities see a possible path of development in building a tourist offer based on sustainable, environmentally friendly and responsible tourism. They are increasingly aware of the great potential lying in the relationship between tourism and the natural environment in cities. Urban green tourism is also a response to the need, emphasised by the participants of the 3rd Global Summit on City Tourism, to make a city enjoyable to all citizens, tourists and investors and to spread the benefits of urban tourism to its surroundings, thus reinforcing its impact and managing congestion. Applied to a city, the general principles of ecotourism, i.e. nature conservation, education, economic benefits for local communities, relevance of cultural resources, minimum environmental impact and maximum environmental sustainability, host community participation, natural areas, culture, and small-scale tourism, go well with the ideas of the Cittaslow movement. Thus, Cittaslow cities are units especially well prepared to develop urban green tourism. The ecological and landscape values that are a significant part of their endogenous capital could stimulate their socio-economic development in which urban green tourism would play a vital role. This chapter seeks to determine to what extent Polish Cittaslow cities see the possibility of development based on this form of tourism. A detailed examination is made of 23 cities belonging to the dynamically developing Polish National Cittaslow Network.
Barbara Maćkiewicz, Barbara Konecka-Szydłowska

Sports Tourism, Regeneration and Social Impacts: New Opportunities and Directions for Research, the Case of Medulin, Croatia

Regeneration is often regarded as the process of renewal, or the redevelopment of existing facilities and infrastructures. Scholars who study regeneration and tourism developments often focus on new infrastructures and economic impacts. However, there is a need for more case-specific focused research addressing social impacts of regeneration to better determine how developments create opportunities for residents and local communities. This chapter focuses specifically on sports tourism-led regeneration in Medulin, Croatia (on the Istrian Peninsula). The purpose of this research is to contribute insight and perspective on sport tourism by conceptually outlining an approach to measure and examine social impacts in future research. In Medulin, sports tourism training facilities have existed since the 1970s, but recent developments completed in 2014 aim to attract more tourists and amateur/professional level sports clubs to further sustain tourism during the winter months. To identify directions for future research, we discuss a number of conditions specific to sports tourism, social impacts and regeneration.
Nicholas Wise, Marko Perić

A “New Normality” for Residents and Tourists: How Can a Disaster Become a Tourist Resource?

Although Italy is ranked as one of the five European Countries with a high probability of being exposed to a natural hazard, 75 % of Italian housing stock does not meet any anti-seismic criteria. In addition to this already fragile scenario, the fact that Italy is one of the countries characterised by a rich cultural heritage opens new issues regarding the impact of a disaster on this territory. The current social science debate is already pointing out that the disaster’s recovery phase needs to move on from a physical and economic dimension towards a social and cultural one. However, much needs to be explored—especially in Europe—about how to deal with a tourist destination during and after a disaster. A “new normality” has to be found for the residents as well as for tourists and visitors. Beyond dark tourism, the recovery phase for a destination can work on finding new meanings and policies aimed at reshaping a new imagery which could encapsulate the tragic memory. The aim of this chapter is to present two Italian cases that in different ways have worked on the recovery/reconstruction phase within a touristic frame: the town of Longarone (1963 Vajont disaster) became a destination of a collective memory and the town of Comeglians (1976 Friuli earthquake) turned into an innovative tourist destination. Were these examples successful and can a lesson be learned from them?
Silvia Mugnano, Fabio Carnelli

Urban Tourism and City Development: Notes for an Integrated Policy Agenda

This chapter draws conclusions by stressing that, through the wide coverage of different perspectives, this book describes the ‘burst’ of the city tourism concept, showing the several and relatively uncontrollable—and thus difficult to manage—nuances of tourism(s) in the urban context. In particular, the chapter discusses what tourism research is supposed to suggest to policymakers. It distinguishes three plausible scenarios in which the weight of urban tourism in development strategies may vary, i.e. marginal tourism, dominant tourism and surrogate tourism, and articulates them by emphasising different features and variations in how synergies between city tourism and urban development take place.
Nicola Bellini, Frank M. Go, Cecilia Pasquinelli
Additional information

Premium Partner

    Image Credits