Are our cities tourism proof?

LONDON, 13 June 2019: Just how prepared are major cities to cope with tourism growth over the next decade?

A new global index report from World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and JLL, “50 cities for future Travel & Tourism Growth” attempts to find out.

WTTC began a research journey on destination management in 2017 with its ‘Managing Overcrowding in Tourism Destinations’ report alongside McKinsey & Company.

Now, major new research with JLL advances the agenda once more by addressing what makes a city ready for travel and tourism growth.

WTTC claims travel and tourism is an essential industry that contributes 10.4% to global GDP and has been responsible for creating one in five new jobs over the last five years.

Cities and city tourism drive both country and sector growth on a significant scale accelerating business and job creation worldwide.

Today, over half (55%) of the world’s population lives in urban areas and this proportion is expected to rise to 68% by 2050.

Forecasts show that urbanisation and population growth could add another 2.5 billion people to urban areas by 2050.

According to the research, of the 1.4 billion international visitors crossing borders in 2018 for tourism purposes, 45% are travelling to visit cities.

Furthermore, international arrivals to the 300 largest city travel destinations accounted for over half a billion trips last year.

The newly created index brings together a broad spectrum of destination practices and community attributes to determine a level and type of readiness. The levels range from emerging to established market tourism hubs with varying levels of infrastructure.

To see the full report and to understand how cities around the world are responding to these growing pressures, visit