Throughout the world, cities vie for tourist dollars in a competition so intense that they sometimes totally reconstruct their downtowns and waterfronts to attract tourists. Growing at an astonishing pace, urban tourism now plays a pivotal role in the economic development strategies of urban governments around the globe. In this book, distinguished urban experts from a variety of disciplines investigate tourism and its transforming impact on cities. As cities become places to play, the authors show, tourism recasts their spatial form. In some cities, separate spaces devoted to tourism and leisure are carved out. Other cities more readily absorb tourists into daily urban life, though even these cities undergo transformation of their character. The contributors examine such U. S. tourist meccas as Las Vegas, Orlando, Boston, and New York City's Times Square and continue on an international tour that looks at pilgrimage sites (Jerusalem), newly created resorts (Cancun), and places of artistic and historic interest (Prague).
Other chapters take up important themes concerning the marketing of cities, how tourists perceive places, the construction of tourism infrastructure, and strategies for drawing tourists, including sports, riverboat gambling, and sex tourism in Southeast Asia.