|Organization: World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)|
The nature of cities is heavily impacted by the paradigm changes in the production and consumption patterns and the mobility of capital, people and goods. In recent decades, “global” and “local” are connected in such a way that cities have not only become a dynamic vector for development and growth but also as the locus for change. Tourism in cities is considered as an economic activity with a high potential to stimulate local economic growth because of its complementarity with other economic activities, its contribution to Gross Domestic Product, job creation, foreign exchange and services exports. Tourism is a powerful engine for the local economic and social development of cities through improving infrastructure, creating a skilled labour force, stimulating local business entrepreneurship, developing public-private partnerships and attracting other industries and services. Tourism in cities creates spatial dynamics for transforming the urban landscape through the rejuvenation of public space, public infrastructure and connectivity, development of local amenities and recreational facilities – a process that not only builds a quality visitor experience but also safeguards and enhances the quality of life for the local communities. The WTO side event during Habitat III will create a platform and share a common vision for the local authorities and other city stakeholders on how to position tourism in the overall sustainable urbanization policies (economic, social, cultural and spatial), in the land-use plans and the city governance/management strategies and actions.