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Global cities, Tokyo, urban tourism

Joan Henderson (Nanyang Business School, Singapore)

International Journal of Tourism Cities

ISSN: 2056-5607

Article publication date: 5 June 2017




The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between global cities and international tourism with particular reference to the recent experiences of Tokyo which has recently seen a marked increase in arrivals. It addresses questions of the standing of Tokyo as a global city and tourist destination, how the two functions are connected and why changes are occurring.


The methodology employed is that of an empirical case study based on the analysis of published materials drawn from a diversity of sources.


The defining characteristics of global cities are generally conducive to their function as international tourist destinations. They possess a wealth of tourism resources and amenities which facilitate inbound tourist flows. Tokyo is a prominent example of a global city, but has tended to attract fewer visitors than others in that category. The recent significant growth in arrivals is attributed to changes in the tourism industry and wider environment, yet some challenges remain before it can catch up with its counterparts.


Fresh insights are afforded into the implications of global city status for tourism and the development of Tokyo as a destination which tends to have been neglected in the literature.



Henderson, J. (2017), "Global cities, Tokyo, urban tourism", International Journal of Tourism Cities, Vol. 3 No. 2, pp. 143-157.



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Copyright © 2017, International Tourism Studies Association

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