UNWTO City Tourism Network


UN Habitat forecasts that by 2030, five billion people – or nearly two-thirds of the world´s population – will be living in cities. By 2050, 70% of the world´s population will be urbanized. This continual increase in urbanization will progressively reflect the already considerable impact of city tourism in the development of the city and its economy. Indeed, tourism brings new patterns and changes to the urban landscape, such as globalization, a phenomenon whose impact is not limited to big cities. Acknowledging the significance of city tourism, the Affiliate Members Programme seeks to implement tools to assist cities in developing sustainable tourism, an objective that is essentially channeled through the UNWTO City Tourism Network.

The UNWTO City Tourism Network proposes to serve as the platform for knowledge transfer, development and implementation of innovative initiatives and prototypes as well as benchmarking and monitoring city projects. Its main purpose is to form transferable and adaptable methods and models to address the action proposed in the Istanbul Declaration. Participants of the UNWTO City Tourism Network benefit from inclusion in a working group of stakeholders from across the public and private sectors, on regional and national levels, to pursue policies to stimulate city tourism. The Network also aims to develop cities for and through the tourism sector, while maintaining a positive living space for locals.

The UNWTO City Tourism Network was officially launched in November 2016 on the occasion of the 5th UNWTO Global Summit on City Tourism in Luxor, Egypt.


2016 - 2017 UNWTO City Tourism Network Action Plan


For more information on the UNWTO City Tourism Network, its main objectives and principal lines of action, please download the 2016/2017 UNWTO City Tourism Network Action Plan (In English). 

Para más información acerca de la Red de turismo urbano de la OMT, sus objetivos y principales lineas de acción, rogamos descargue el Plan de acción 2016/2017 de la Red de turismo urbano de la OMT (en español).




The main initiatives of the UNWTO City Tourism Network are:

  • Global Benchmarking Project for City Tourism - This project aims measure the impact of tourism in cities through the application of indicators which have been designed for comprehensive application in different destinations.  These indicators are intended to improve the measurement of the variables that impact city tourism to facilitate international tourism benchmarking, decision making and prioritization of tourism strategies by cities. Guidelines on how to further integrate these new economic, environmental and social tourism indicators into the current system will facilitate international comparability worldwide.
  • City Tourism Monitor for the exchange of best practices, a joint UNWTO/World Tourism Cities Federation initiative, which enables cities to exchange successful experiences between destinations.
  • The Mayors for Tourism Initiative, the objective of which is to acknowledge tourism as a driving force for economic growth and development so that it is explicitly included as a priority in the urban agenda at a global level. In order to achieve this goal, participating mayors will be invited to share best practices in managing the challenges and opportunities that tourism might present to local administrations and to propose formulas to align their tourism related policies with those of national governments´. Mayors of the participating cities of the UNWTO City Tourism Network will automatically be invited to join the Mayors for Tourism Initiative.

UNWTO Events related to city tourism

The Global Summits on City Tourism, organized by UNWTO Destination Management Programme, are an established interdisciplinary platform to discuss new initiatives. Five editions have taken place thus far (Istanbul, Moscow, Barcelona, Marrakech and Luxor).



UNWTO Affiliate Members Programme Global Report on City Tourism (2012)



The report is based on a wide-ranging study carried out by the UNWTO Affiliate Members Programme among 21 of the world´s most-visited cities, providing deep and useuful insight on the urban strategies of key urban destinations. For more information on the report, please click here. 



AM Reports: Volume ten - Global Benchmarking for City Tourism Measurement (2014)


The Global Benchmarking for City Tourism Measurement evaluates the importance of measurement tools for cities which are crucial elements for the monitoring and evaluation of the performance of urban tourism destinations. In line with this, it introduces a recommended approach for the measurement and the economic analysis of city tourism at a local level, opening the way for benchmarking between destinations. For more information on the report, please click here. 




Join the UNWTO City Tourism Network

Participation in the UNWTO City Tourism Network is channeled through participation in the Affiliate Members Programme of the relevant destination management organization of the local city council. Interested entities are kindly asked to send a formal request to: am@unwto.org. To read more on the affiliation process, please click here.

Other UNWTO Networks:

Useful links:


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