A new global study has assessed how well prepared 50 cities are for handling future growth in tourism.

The report identifies Amsterdam, Barcelona, Paris, Prague, Rome,  San Francisco, Toronto and Vancouver as suffering pressures from tourism or being “at risk of facing potential issues”.

Those not yet seeing many overt signs of tourism pressure and ready to manage current levels of growth include New York, London, Auckland, Berlin, Singapore, Beijing, Osaka and Hong Kong.

At the other end of the scale, cities such as Bogota, Cairo, Delhi, and Istanbul are seen as needing to develop infrastructure such as airport connectivity, accommodation and address environmental issues such as waste and water quality.

Almost half (45%) of the 1.4 billion international visitors last year travelled to visit cities. International arrivals to the 300 largest city travel destinations accounted for more than 500 million trips.

More than half (55%) of the of the world’s population lives in urban areas with the level is expected to rise to 68% by 2050. Forecasts show that urbanisation and population growth could add another 2.5 billion people to urban areas by 2050.

The figures come from the Destination 2030 study produced by the World Travel & Tourism Council with real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) in an effort to address what makes cities ready for travel and tourism growth.

WTTC president and CEO Gloria Guevara said: “Tourism authorities in many major cities around the world are working incredibly hard to prepare for the future.

“However, for a city to truly thrive and for travel and tourism to develop in a sustainable manner, city planning authorities, developers, investors, legislators and community groups, need to understand how prepared the city is for future expected growth in tourism and the resulting challenges and opportunities it may face.”

JLL executive vice president Dan Fenton added: “Whether a city is looking to bolster its travel and tourism industry or manage growth, the approach needs to be strategic, purposeful and comprehensive.

“By considering all components that make up a city’s character, policies that achieve the best possible results for business leaders, community members and visitors can be put into place.”