City destination interconnectivity - New roles for destination marketing and management

Session in The 26th Nordic Symposium of Tourism and Hospitality Research

Urban areas are very important in modern society, since it is there that most of the population lives and where a significant proportion of the GDP is produced. Over the last decade, city tourism has increased considerably, and it is likely that the concept of city destination will become even more important.

Destination Management Organisations (DMO) will have new roles in securing that the tourist function is embedded in a network of social economic realities rather than leading to tourist cities outside them. This calls for new forms of policies concerning city development and governance.

In order for a destination to work more efficiently, the network of actors have to be better interconnected. For this purpose, new innovative IT-tools, such as GIS-applications for studying visitor streams. The same holds for effective the tourists' smartphone services for effective communication with tourists.

Furthermore, a city destination is chosen for a variety of reasons, not least because they offer a wide range of attractions such as shopping and heritage sites. But how can attractions be developed in order to give visitor's new forms of experiences?

City destinations have a high development potential. Therefore, there is a need for identifying new trends, such as the implications of immigration and the interconnections between residents' and visitors' used space.

Cities can be seen as gateways from where visitors both start and experience their journey. This vision will assign new roles for destination marketers in how to brand the destination and to use various marketing channels.

This expansion of city tourism raises also questions of sustainability, such as the growing amount of visitors taking low-cost flights for short city breaks, and its consequent green-house effects.

We invite both conceptual and empirical papers on challenges for future city destination tourism, in particular concerning marketing and management.

Göran Andersson
Head of Tourism Studies at Södertörn University

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