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Urban areas have long been regarded as an integral part of contemporary tourism activities. From large metropolitan areas to small historic cities, urban environments now represent an important aspect for business and tradem but also for tourism and leisure. Although the significance of urban areas in tourism is well documented, the increased number of visitors has dramatically changed the overall landscape of many destinations and has resulted in numerous impacts for both public and private sector.The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the contemporary issues and tensions associated with heritage resources in urban areas. The study reveals the positive and negative consequences of using heritage attributes as a tool for destination development and further addresses some emerging topics such as sustainability, authenticity and interpretatiob for tourism purposes.