Cities across the world are stressing the importance of tourism in supporting local economies. In this article, Susan Fainstein wonders if globalization will result in an overall reduction in the type and variety of urban places and attractions.
"Tourism is the new favorite strategy for central city planners and is a central component of the economic, social and cultural shift that has left its imprint on the world system of cities in the past two decades. As a result, urban culture itself has become a commodity, and cities have a competitive advantage over suburbs. The most important group of travelers economically are those traveling on business, since these travelers spend the most. Globalization has greatly increased business travel, despite telecommunications, because decentralized production and outsourcing makes travel a necessity. My principal concern is the way in which cities are shaped by efforts to attract and control visitors and by the economic, spatial, and cultural impact of non-residents "