Document Type : Original Article


1 Associate Professor of Ferdowsi University of Mashhad (FUM), Mashhad, Iran

2 PhD candidate of Ferdowsi University of Mashhad (FUM), international Campus, Mashhad, Iran


Urban tourism is tourism that takes place in towns and cities where the historic heritage is not the main attraction, even though the settlement may have some buildings pre-dating the industrial revolution. Urban tourism includes a wide range of activities and experiences from sightseeing, visit­ing cultural attractions (e.g. art galleries, concerts, opera, shows, museums etc), attending special events, leisure shopping, eating out and drinking, meeting people (e.g. friends and relatives), dancing and so on. Different visitors will select different combinations of these activities. Business tourism is another equally important element of urban tourism. These activities are mainly based on manmade resources, facilities that are used for recreation by urban residents as well tourists. Because of this difficulty of separating leisure use from tourist use, there has been relatively little research on urban tourism, although much policy and planning effort has been put into promoting and developing urban tourism in recent years. This has been because many urban planners and politicians have perceived the development of tourism to be a mechanism for the regeneration of declining inner city areas. Both cultural policy and tourism development (with its associated job creation potential) have been used as tools to solve some of these urban development problems. So, once again, tourism policy must be seen in the context of other social and economic problems and policies. This chapter will start by identifying the urban tourist (as far as current research allows) and their motivation and behavior. The paper discusses the spatial location of that tourist activity (as it differs from the tourist-historic city). This will be put in the context of patterns of urban change since 1990; the impacts of tourism and the policies for urban tourism will also be described.


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