The previous chapter focused on one of the key stakeholders in urban destinations, the local residents, and looked at how tourism growth in cities affects their quality of life. This chapter continues the discussion on trends, issues and challenges faced by world tourism cities, and examines the concept of sustainability and how it applies to these destinations.

Sustainability is an important topic that cannot be overlooked when discussing tourism development in world cities. This is even more significant in the current economic climate when urban destinations are facing many challenges as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Chapter 8, therefore, begins by examining the impacts of tourism, both positive and negative, followed by a discussion on the sustainability measures and policies promoted by urban destinations. It acknowledges the complex nature of the two concepts, sustainable development, and sustainable tourism, which makes their implementation in practice more challenging for tourism organisations. It then identifies a number of factors that could help urban destinations apply the sustainability principles at the local level. Particular attention is given to the role played by the main stakeholders in tourism cities in sustainable tourism implementation.

Another aspect deemed important to discuss here is the contribution of world tourism cities towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and addressing climate change. The tourism industry plays an important part in both, in particular urban destinations that attract many visitors and are important CO2 emitters.