Just in time for the new Amusement Park DLC pack that launched yesterday, Balance Designer Ross Treyz has written a new SimCity blog all about maximizing your Tourist populations in your cities, from placing roads and neighbourhoods in specific ways to limiting what tourism buildings are currently turned on. Interesting read!

Hey, Mayors! I’m Balance Designer Ross Treyz and I’m back with another blog. Today, I want to give you some tips on how to build a successful tourist city, perfect for the new Amusement Park content coming out today. The more globetrotters you gain, the more money you make, so let’s get to it!


When building a tourist city, the most important consideration is transportation. There are two types of transportation: inter-city transit and inner-city transit. Inter-city transit brings Sims into your city; inner-city transit allows Sims to move around your city. The inter-city transit options are: Bus Terminal, Passenger Train Station, Ferry Terminal, and Municipal Airport. The inner-city transit options are Shuttle Bus Depot, Bus Terminal, and Streetcar Depot. So the Bus Depot provides both inter-city and inner-city transit.

The reason that transportation is so important is that transportation is how tourists get into the parts of your city you want them in and getting them spending Simoleons. Before you lay out your city it is important to decide where your tourist attractions will be and how your tourists will get to them.

Inter-City Transit

In a tourist city, the goal of inter-city transit is to bring the right kind of tourists to the right locations. The Bus Depot and the Passenger Train Station will bring in low and medium wealth tourists. The Ferry Terminal and the airport will bring in medium and high wealth tourists. This is important because Casinos, a large source of income for tourist cities, each focus on different types of tourists. The Gambling House, and the Sci-Fi Casino are targeted at low and medium wealth tourists. The Elegant Casino targets medium and high wealth tourists, and the Sleek Casino can accept low, medium, and high wealth tourists.

As you can see in the picture, you can figure out where to place your casinos, and the transit options for your gamblers, before your build. You can also extend the rail tracks to place your Passenger Train Station wherever you want. Grouping a Passenger Train Station with a Bus Depot will create a great place for low and medium wealth tourists. Grouping a Ferry Terminal with a Municipal Airport will create a great place for medium and high wealth tourists.

Roads and Zones

One of the most important concerns for a tourist city is traffic. Having too much traffic will prevent tourists from reaching their destinations. When laying out roads, it’s important to have a long road with no intersections through the center of your city. This will make sure that tourists and other commuters turn off the road early if their destination is closer to the entrance of your city. At the end of the long entrance road it’s good to have a “T” intersection or even a circle. This makes the Sims have a binary choice: turn left or right, instead of left, right, or center.

A tourist city will need lots of residential buildings to provide workers for all the tourist attractions as well as lots of commercial buildings for tourists to shop in after they have gone to an attraction. It’s good to have a large residential section in one part of your city. However, traffic in the residential zones can slow down your tourists, so build your residential in one section while mixing your commercial in with your tourism buildings.

Tourism Buildings

There are three kinds of buildings that you can place that will earn your tourism city money. They are Landmarks, Casinos, and Stadiums. There are some buildings which cross over categories. For example the Oslo Opera House is a landmark, however it has the functionality of a stadium. For the sake of clarity, here are the definitions of each kind of tourism building.

Landmarks – Accept all wealth levels of tourists, and don’t have modules.

Casinos – Accept two, or all three wealth levels of tourists, and have modules that can be placed to improve their functionality.

Stadiums – Accept all wealth levels of tourists, and may or may not have a sign that will add tourist attraction. These buildings don’t make money unless there is an active event.

Amusement Park – Accept all wealth levels. The goal with the Amusement Park is to keep the park goers inside as long as possible to maximize profits.

Landmarks and Casinos want a steady flow of tourists so that they can stay full as tourists come and go. Stadiums want access to a lot of tourists when there’s an event going on, but otherwise don’t need much of anything.

When operating a tourism city it’s a good idea to turn your stadiums off while there is no event going on. On the other hand, you might want to turn off some of your casinos while you are planning an event at one or more of your stadiums.


Every tourism city will have crime problems. Educate your kids, make sure everyone is employed, and remove all your abandoned buildings as soon as they pop up, this will help, but don’t be surprised if you still spot some criminals lurking about. Large crowds of tourists make for a felon field day. Remember that casinos also attract criminals as well. To combat this, make sure to build a Police Precinct with Detective Vans and probably a Police Station or two with extra Patrol Cars.

The tips I’ve laid out here are helpful when building any tourist city, whether you just want to place a single landmark, or if you want to build an entire economy based on gambling. It’s no coincidence that these principals will also help if you want to set up a city based around the new Amusement Parks content. Being a tourist-centric Mayor just became a lot more fun.