Global travel and tourism has more than 10-doubled over the last 50 years from 100 million international arrivals in 1968 to more than a billion in 2018, and it is projected to almost double again over the next 15 years.
All this time, destinations have fought for their share of the action. Destinations have been pursuing and celebrating growth in bed nights as the golden measure of success – as an indicator of the city’s progress and prosperity. The more, the merrier, let it boom as long as they consume!
But as the impact of climate change and overtourism is becoming more evident, so is the doubt and hesitation in our industry and communities. As the Western societies navigate times of migration crisis, digital polarization, cultural divides and rising social inequality, pursuit of more tourism as a policy for public good, seem to slip rank on the urban agenda. City marketing as we know it, might seem, well… rather last year.
So, maybe it is time to say good bye to the good old bed night KPI? Maybe it is time to ask what tourism can do for the city, and not just what the city can do for more tourism? Maybe it is time to ask the big and brave question: WHY we do, what we do as DMOs?
In fact, let’s start a new conversation. Let’s discuss, how we can make tourism matter again, and how tourism can give back to the city. Let’s debate how tourism might help cities tackle the challenges of integration of immigrants, how tourism can help regenerate neighbourhoods or revitalize our struggling retail communities. Let’s elaborate the true legacy of scientific conferences and popular events. Let’s talk about tourism as a means to a greater goal, and not a goal in itself.
Better together is a pledge of any strong community. European City Marketing is all about sharing, inspiring and connecting, and this is your invitation to be part of it all. Lucky you!
We look forward to see you in Malmö, the capital of the Swedish region of Skåne and Copenhagen’s cool cousin just across the magnificent bridge connecting Northern and Southern Scandinavia. Malmö is a city with attitude, diversity and strong Scandinavian values. Where else to start a new conversation about our common future?
Welcome to Malmö!