Management Notes > University Of Exeter Management Notes > Tourism Management and Development Notes

Tourism Urban Tourism Notes

This is a sample of our (approximately) 16 page long Tourism Urban Tourism notes, which we sell as part of the Tourism Management and Development Notes collection, a 1st package written at University Of Exeter in 2012 that contains (approximately) 72 pages of notes across 7 different documents.

Learn more about our Tourism Management and Development Notes

The original file is a 'Word (Docx)' whilst this sample is a 'PDF' representation of said file. This means that the formatting here may have errors. The original document you'll receive on purchase should have more polished formatting.

Tourism Urban Tourism Revision

The following is a plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our Tourism Management and Development Notes. This text version has had its formatting removed so pay attention to its contents alone rather than its presentation. The version you download will have its original formatting intact and so will be much prettier to look at.



Urbanisation is a major force contributing to the development of towns and cities where people live, work and shop. Towns and cities function as places where the population concentrates in a defined area and economic activities locate in the same area of nearby to provide the opportunity for the production and consumption of goods and services in capitalist societies.

Consequently, towns and cities provide the context for a diverse range of social, cultural and economic activities which the population engage in and where tourism, leisure and entertainment form major service activities. These environments also function as meeting places, major tourist gateways, accommodation and transport hubs and as central places to service the needs of visitors.

Most tourist trips will contain some experience of an urban area; for example when an urban dweller departs from a major gateway in a city, arrives at a gateway in another city region and stays in accommodation in an urban area.

Within cities however, the line between tourism and recreation blurs to the extent that at times one is indistinguishable from the other, with tourists and recreationalists using the same facilities, resources and environments although some notable differences exist.

Therefore many tourists and recreationalists will intermingle in many urban contexts. Most tourists will experience urban tourism in some form during their holiday, visit to friends and relatives, business trip or visit for another reason.

Urban tourism; a relevant area for study?

Ashworth's (1989) landmark study of urban tourism acknowledges that "a double neglect has occurred. Those interested in the study of tourism have tended to neglect the urban context in which much of it is set, while those interested in urban studies have been equally neglectful of the importance of the tourist function in cities".

While more recent studies have examined urban tourism research in a spatial context (Pearce 1998) it still remains a comparatively unresearched area despite the growing interest in the relationship between urban regeneration and tourism.

The problem is also reiterate din a number of subsequent studies as one explanation of the neglect of urban tourism. Despite this problem which is more a function of perceived than real difficulties in understanding urban tourism phenomena, a range of studies now provide evidence of a growing body of literature on the topic.

Much of the research which is published on urban tourism research remains quite descriptive and mainly case study driven.

Interestingly Ashworth (1992) argued that urban tourism has not emerged as a distinct research focus; research is focused on tourism in cities. The strange paradox can be explained by the failure by planners, commercial interests and residents to recognise tourism as one of the main economic rationales for cities.

Tourism is often seen as an adjunct or necessary evil to generate additional revenue, while the main economic activities of the locality are not perceived as tourism related unless tourism is a central component of urban regeneration strategies. Such negative views of urban tourism have meant that the public and private sector have used the temporary, seasonal and ephemeral nature if tourism to neglect serious research on this theme.

Consequently a vicious circle exists; the absence of private and public sector research makes access to research data difficult and the large scale funding necessary to break the vicious circle and underwrite primary data collection using social survey techniques, is rarely available.

However, with the pressure posed by tourists in many European tourist cities this perception is changing now that the public and private sector are belatedly acknowledging the necessity of visitor management as a mechanism to enhance, manage and improve the tourist's experience of towns and places to visit.

Understanding the nature and concept of urban tourism; theoretical debates

Pearce (2010) provided an integrative framework for urban tourism based on space, subject cells and a matrix of themes. It highlighted the need for a larger coherent more macro analysis which transcends case study analysis to focus more fully on processes.

Within the wider are of tourism studies, however, there has been a splintering of research activity informed by individual disciplines which frame research questions in a narrow disciplinary manner making coherent theoretical analysis on big issues like urban tourism problematic.

For example, many geographical analyses of urban tourism have developed models and theoretical explanations predicted on the notion of space, resulting in the notion of the tourist city as a series of clustered activities with functional links that are geographically located in the urban environment.

There has been a tendency for much of the published urban tourism research to be either case study or place specific, which has meant researchers have failed to examine these macro or theoretical issues, such as how and why urban tourism is developing as it is, where it is and its global manifestations, particularly hierarchies of urban development.

Shaw and Williams (1994) argue that urban areas offer geographical concentration of facilities and attractions that are conveniently located to meet both visitor and resident needs alike. But the diversity and variety among urban tourist destinations has led researchers to examine the extent to which they display unique and similar features. Shaw and Williams (1994) identify three perspectives; o


Towns and cities are multifunctional areas meaning that they simultaneously provide various functions for different groups of users.


The diversity of urban areas means that their size, function, location and history contribute to their uniqueness.

The tourist functions of towns and cities are rarely produced or consumed solely by tourists, given the variety of user groups in urban areas.

Ashworth (1992) conceptualises urban tourism by identifying three approaches towards its analysis, where researchers have focused on; o

The supply of tourism facilities in urban areas - involving inventories (e.g. the spatial distribution of accommodation, entertainment complexes and tourist related services), where urban ecological models, developed by urban geographers have been used. In addition the facility approach has been used to identify the tourism product offered by destinations.


The demand generated by urban tourists - to examine how many people visit urban areas, why they choose to visit and their patterns of behaviour, perception and expectations in relation to their visit.


Urban tourism policy - where the public sector and private sector agencies have undertaken or commissioned research to investigate specific issues of interest to their own interests for urban tourism.

Theoretical studies of urban tourism by Mullins (1991) and Roche (1992) are focused on the former towns and cities with a declining industrial base that are now looking towards service sector activities such as tourism that have the potential to generate new employment opportunities through regeneration.

These studies examine urban tourism in post-industrial society and question the types of process now shaping the operation and development of tourism in postindustrial cities and the implications for public sector tourism policy.

Mullins initial research has been followed by studies which argue that a new urban tourism exists in a post-industrial society, based on the consumption of places. Indeed sociologists such as Meethan (1996) suggest urban areas now see this consumption as a complex process of transforming the landscape into one of pleasure and fun. A variety of activities exist such as promenading, eating, drinking, watching events and appreciating the heritage and culture of the place.

Hannigans Fantasy City depicts many of these features in the North American city while other studies have pointed to the globalisation of such trends in the post-

modern city. Critics such as Ritzer (1996) suggest that this process of globalisation has led to the McDonaldisation of production and consumption in such cities, meaning that in these environments one now has a similar experience regardless of location due to the process of globalisation.

Whatever theoretical perspective one adopts urban places in the developed world are in the process of transformation based on the consumption of tourism. Global capital has realised the benefits of investing in regeneration schemes to transform redundant areas for profit.

What is also apparent is that the urban landscape of the 21st century is littered with symbols of globalisation such as the multinational hotel chains and hospitality brands such as KFC and Starbucks as well as a wide range of locally produced elements that retain a degree of distinctiveness for the destination. However, the competition for global investment and visitors has led to complex forms of place marketing to promote each locality, its identity, brands and a variety of markets.

In some cases highly developed urban tourism resorts have evolved (e.g. LA and Australia's Golden Coast) as part of what Mullins and others have described as tourism urbanisation. Many of these places solely developed through tourism, operate 24 hours a day and have a defined theme (e.g. Gambling and entertainment in LA).

What the tourism urbanisation studies highlight is the role of the state, especially local government in seeking to develop service industries based on tourism consumption. For example many local authorities in Western Europe are pump priming tourism development as a means of stimulating the urban economy, particularly where leisure and culture based spending can be harnessed to create new employment. Consequently on can identify the following types of urban tourist destination; o

Capital cities


Metropolitan centres, walled historic cities and small fortress cities


Large historic cities


Inner city areas


Revitalised waterfront areas


Industrial cities


Seaside resorts and winter sport resorts


Purpose built integrated tourist resorts


Tourist entertainment complexes


Specialised tourist service centres

o o

Cultural/art cities Sport cities

One important category of urban place which has a major impact upon tourism is the national Capital City which often has world city status.

Urbanisation and city status; national capital cities and world cities as tourist destinations

There is widespread recognition among governments and transnational agencies such as the United Nations that the world's population is increasingly urbanising. While estimates of the world urban population vary there is consensus among bodies such as the UN that it will rise to 4.98 billion by 2030, dominated by growth in middle and low income countries, particularly in Asia.

At the same time cities make a disproportionate contribution to national economies as the focus of production of goods and services and tourism is no exception to this as tourist gateways are predominantly large urban centres. Likewise much of the flow of foreign direct investment is destined to these centres, although in advanced Western nations, lowering of trade barriers, lower transport and production costs has seen capital relocate to more profitable locations.

These processes of change associated with global capital have proved to be major actors in the emerging landscapes of post-industrial and industrialising cities as the leisure economies (tourism, leisure and the wider cultural industries) are harnessed and developed, shaping new opportunities for tourism and leisure consumption. In terms of urban tourism these themes are not new.

National Capital Cities provide a major focal point for domestic and international tourism due to the political, cultural, symbolic and administrative functions provided in such locations. The spatial clustering of many government and cultural facilities in National Capital Cities serve a diverse group of city visitors including business travellers and domestic and international visitors who provide an interconnected system of tourist markets.

The concept of National Capital Cities is far from a homogenous term, Hall (2000) identified a typology of National Capital Cities which embraces multifunctional cities, global capitals, political capitals, former capitals provincial and state capitals and super capitals. However, one useful concept here is the evolution of the term world city.

World cities; a useful framework for urban tourism?

The concept of globalisation is not new to tourism, but its impact on the economy, culture and politics have been widely researched in the social sciences. In urban studies the research agenda on globalisation and cities had generated a vast

****************************End Of Sample*****************************

Buy the full version of these notes or essay plans and more in our Tourism Management and Development Notes.