Determining a city’s future readiness for tourism growth requires a holistic view that accounts not only for its current physical and natural assets, but also for its social capital and the impact of its policies.
Whether a city is looking to grow its travel and tourism sector or manage rising visitor numbers, business and city leaders must balance all the dynamics that make up a city’s fabric.
The findings of the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) and JLL’s “Destination 2030: Global cities’ readiness for tourism growth (Destination 2030),” addressed the question of what makes a city ready for travel and tourism growth during the recent WTTC Global Summit in Seville, Spain.
Destination 2030 measures and categorizes 50 global gateway cities into one of five levels of “readiness” and provides actionable solutions to foster sustainable growth in tourism activity.
JLL Global Hotels’ CEO, Mark Wynne-Smith said that: “In today’s competitive environment, a holistic understanding of markets and indicators is more important than ever in shaping global investment strategy. Cities with a comprehensive approach to travel and tourism to ensure they are prepared for future growth are increasingly appealing from an investment standpoint.”
The levels range from emerging to established market tourism hubs with varying levels of infrastructure. They also describe the current opportunities and challenges faced by the cities and provide a recommended path forward for building and maintaining tourism activity:
Dawning Developersare cities with an emerging tourism infrastructure, slower tourism growth and lower visitor concentration but have room to grow. Examples include Manila, Moscow and Riyadh.
Emerging Performersare cities with an emerging tourism infrastructure, growing tourism momentum and the start of increasing pressures related to tourism growth. Examples include Delhi, Istanbul and Mexico City.
Balanced Dynamicsare cities that are often financial hubs, with lower shares of leisure, compared to business travel but an established tourism infrastructure and potential for travel and tourism growth. Examples include Chicago, Munich and Tokyo.
Mature Performersare cities with strong leisure and/or business travel dynamics and an established tourism infrastructure, but risk of future strains related to visitor volume, infrastructure or activity that is testing readiness for additional growth. Examples include Berlin, London and Sydney.
Mounting Pressureare cities with high growth momentum driven by leisure travel and established tourism infrastructure. However, these cities face pressures to manage high visitor volumes. Examples include Amsterdam, Barcelona and Prague.
WTTC president & CEO, Gloria Guevara observed: “Travel and tourism can play a significant role in a city’s economy, boosting GDP and creating jobs. Managed well, a strong visitor economy can also help a destination to thrive, by bringing connectivity, fostering diversity, engendering hospitality and by creating a real sense of place for all who live, work and visit the city.”
And Guevara continued: “With this novel framework, city planning authorities and legislators, investors and real estate developers, tourism organizations and travel and tourism companies can evaluate global cities’ readiness for future expected tourism volumes by 2030.”