Cities are in constant change due to various social and economic forces, including tourism and cities’ constant drive to make themselves more attractive for visitors.

The book debates the relationship between tourism activity and the architecture and built environment within which it takes place. Tourism activity is reliant on the facilities and resources that the city offers. The book gives an overview of the various resources that make up a city’s tourism product.

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Tourism in European Cities:
The visitor experience of architecture, urban spaces and city attractions.

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The chapter sets the scene for the rest of the book. It describes the research agenda that is set out in tourism academic literature and notes where this book sits within that agenda. This chapter also discusses what motivates people to travel to cities and hence the reason that makes cities major centres of tourism activity.

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Cities are in constant change due to various social and economic forces. Cities seek to guide these changes in a manner thatwill enhance their competiveness in a global context of stiff competition between cities. The chapter discusses these forcesincluding the role place marketing and tourism have on how cities develop and evolve over time.

Changes in cities are also brought about by tourism. This chapter discusses the way the dynamics of the tourist activity have changed in the last three or four decades. Such a discussion is needed for a better understanding on how tourism changes cities.

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Chapter 4 explains the meaning of the tourism product and debates the role of tourism districts in the city. This includes urban areas that provide a leisure setting for tourists and city residents to enjoy.

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Visitor attractions have a crucial role in the development and success of tourism destinations. There are several resources that must be present for a city to be effective as a tourism destination but it is visitor attractions that play the most important role. The purpose of this section is to better understand the nature of attractions, to introduce the variety of visitor attractions and to consider their role in city destinations

Supporting facilities and services are vital for a city destination to be successful but very rarely are they the reason for the tourist visit. Tourism accommodation is the most important supporting service but other facilities are also very relevant and need careful consideration. These include food and drink establishments, shopping facilities and venues for conferences and exhibitions.

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Walking is an activity to which the tourist will dedicate significant time during a leisure visit to a city. For this reason it merits achapter in a book on urban tourism. The chapter discusses the nature of walking and places the discussion within the context of the tourist experience. The chapter also discusses pedestrian areas in cities as these areas often become a focus of tourism activity.

The chapter develops an understanding of the tourist experience by investigating those elements that are most influential in shaping the experience at a city destination. The main focus is on the role of meaning and sense of place in this process.

In many cities the historic core plays a crucial role in tourism. Apart from attractions located within it, the historic core is often an attraction in its own right with many tourists spending time walking and exploring the historic area. The chapter takes a closer look at historic areas and considers the relationship between urban heritage and tourism. It also looks at several historic cities that have been designated World Heritage Sites.

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Many cities provide a diversified architectural structure from different eras of their history including a broad range of contemporary architecture. The chapter debates how new contemporary architecture developments, including iconic architecture, are used by cities to enhance their attractiveness in the context of increased competition between cities. A section is also dedicated to museum architecture.

Cities are increasingly resorting to events as a tool to deliver a wide range of outcomes and to reposition and differentiate the city from its competitors. The chapter explains how events generate inward investment for the enhancement of public spaces and for infrastructure projects. The city often serves as a backdrop to the urban festival as activities and performances are staged in the city’s urban spaces.

Enter 2020 and with it the beginnings of the global covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic has given rise to great uncertainty and brought with it difficult issues of unprecedented complexity. City destinations that previously suffered from overtourism are now faced with an opposite concern; after the effects of the pandemic have subsided there will be insufficient numbers of tourists to sustain their economies. The chapter offers some reflections on the future prospects of tourism in 2022 and beyond.

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