The Other Half of Urban Tourism: Research Directions in the Global South

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22 Citations (Scopus)


In mainstream urban tourism scholarship debates there is only limited attention given to the urban global South. The ‘other half’ of urban tourism is the axis in this review and analysis. Arguably, in light of the changing global patterns of urbanization and of the shifting geography of leading destinations for urban tourism greater attention is justified towards urban settlements in the global South. The analysis discloses the appearance of an increasingly vibrant scholarship about urban tourism in the setting of the global South. In respect of sizes of urban settlement it is unsurprising that the greatest amount of attention has been paid to mega-cities and large urban centres with far less attention so far given to tourism occurring either in intermediate centres or small towns. In a comparative assessment between scholarship on urban tourism in the global North versus South there are identifiable common themes and trends in writings about urban tourism, most especially in relation to the phenomenon of inter-urban competition, questions of sustainability and planning. Nevertheless, certain important differences can be isolated. In the urban global South the environment of low incomes and informality coalesce to provide for the greater significance of certain different forms of tourism to those which are high on the urban global North agenda. Three key issues are highlighted by this ‘state of the art’ overview, namely the significance of an informal sector of tourism, the distinctive characteristics of the discretionary mobilities of the poor, and the controversies surrounding slum tourism.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGeoJournal Library
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages37
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameGeoJournal Library
ISSN (Print)0924-5499
ISSN (Electronic)2215-0072


  • Informality
  • Leading urban destinations
  • Poverty
  • Slum tourism
  • Urban global South

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Urban Studies


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