Amsterdam, Venice, Barcelona, Paris - the poster children for overtourism are well-known. Now, 20 more cities are on alert lest they turn into the future face of the problem, according to a new report from the World Travel & Tourism Council and commercial real estate firm JLL.

The report, called “Destination 2030,” examines the tourism “readiness” of 50 destinations around the world and groups cities into five types.

Lauro Ferroni, JLL’s global head of hotels and hospitality research, said the cities that are already the busiest - the Amsterdams and the Madrids - have to think about tourism through a different lens.

“Those cities are the ones that are going to start focusing less on attracting a whole lot of new visitors,” he says. Instead, they have to shift their focus to dispersing crowds throughout their city and encouraging visitors to come at off-peak times.

The study adds a fresh layer to the ongoing conversation over how much tourism is too much, and how both iconic and emerging destinations can cope with the world’s apparently insatiable appetite for travel.

“Over the past few years . . . several destinations, and cities in particular, have been criticised in the media for the under-management of travel and tourism and the stresses that visitor numbers have put on urban systems and residents,” the report said.


1) Emerging performers

This category includes destinations where infrastructure and tourism momentum are growing along with the pressures associated with more tourists.

Cities include Bangkok; Cape Town, South Africa; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Istanbul; Jakarta, Indonesia; Mexico City; and New Delhi.

2) Mature performers

These 13 cities have an established tourism infrastructure, strong leisure or business travel, and good positioning to manage current growth levels. “But there is a risk of future strains related to visit volume, infrastructure or activity that is testing readiness for additional growth,” the report said.

Cities include: Auckland, New Zealand; Berlin; Dublin; Las Vegas; Lisbon; London; Los Angeles; Madrid; Miami; New York; Seoul, South Korea; Seville, Spain; and Sydney.

3) Managing momemtum cities:

These cities are described in the report as having established tourism infrastructure and urban readiness but heavy leisure travel volume “with potential to cause strain on the city.”

Cities include: Amsterdam, Barcelona, Paris, Prague, Rome, San Francisco, Stockholm and the Canadian cities of Toronto and Vancouver.

4) Dawning developers

Cities listed in this category are experiencing somewhat less pressure. With an emerging tourism infrastructure, they were experiencing gradual tourism growth and lower visitor concentration.

Cities include: Bogota, Colombia; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Cairo; Chengdu, China; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Lima, Peru; Manila, Philippines; Moscow; Mumbai, India; Rio de Janeiro; and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

5) Balanced dynamics cities:

This category includes cities with an established infrastructure for visitors, a larger-than-average share of business travellers and room to grow comfortably. Cities include Dubai; Beijing; Chicago; Hong Kong; Munich; Osaka, Japan; Shanghai; Singapore; Tokyo; and Washington.