A new global study is warning nine cities around the world are suffering from over-tourism or could face potential problems due to high visitor numbers.
Those cities likely to feel the strain are Amsterdam, Barcelona, Paris, Prague, Rome, San Francisco, Stockholm, Toronto and Vancouver, it said.
The Destination 2030 study by the World Travel & Tourism Council with the property firm JLL found that 45% of the 1.4 billion international tourists last year visited cities. International arrivals to the 300 largest city travel destinations accounted for more than 500 million trips.
The report found that high visitor numbers are testing readiness for growth in more than a dozen other cities including London, Dublin, Madrid, Seville, Berlin, New York, Miami, Las Vegas and Sydney.
Those with enough capacity to cope with further growth are mainly financial centres such as Dubai, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore and Washington, which have a lower share of leisure travel.
Cities with growing tourism momentum and increased pressure include Bangkok, Cape Town and Istanbul.
WTTC president and CEO Gloria Guevara said: “Tourism authorities in many major cities around the world are working incredibly hard to prepare for the future.
“However, for a city to truly thrive and for travel and tourism to develop in a sustainable manner, city planning authorities, developers, investors, legislators and community groups, need to understand how prepared the city is for future expected growth in tourism and the resulting challenges and opportunities it may face.”
JLL executive vice president Dan Fenton added: “Whether a city is looking to bolster its travel and tourism industry or manage growth, the approach needs to be strategic, purposeful and comprehensive.
“By considering all components that make up a city’s character, policies that achieve the best possible results for business leaders, community members and visitors can be put into place.”