A Conceptual Classification of the Transport-tourist Experience
Steven Rhoden, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK; Les Lumsdon, University of Central Lancashire, UK
This paper examines the relationship between transport, tourism and the experiences of those travelling for touristic purposes. A typology of transport-tourist experiences is presented, and the implications for transport management are outlined.
This paper examines the relationship between transport, tourism and the experiences of those travelling for touristic purposes. For over 20 years, it has been acknowledged that transport serves a dual role in tourism: providing access to and around destinations, and as a tourist activity in its own right (Halsall, 1982; Lumsdon and Page, 2004; Robbins, 2003). Research related to these roles is expanding, although the literature base centred on the former is more extensive. However, the relationship between the form of transport and the experiences of travellers has been largely overlooked. Therefore, this paper seeks to address this state of under-research.
This conceptual paper presents a typology of transport-tourist experiences. It draws upon various fields of research including transport, the tourist experience and leisure studies, and presents a series of case studies to support the extension and development of the current theoretical framework. Thus, the paper moves beyond a binary categorisation of travellers? experiences, which sees individuals labelled as the passenger, enduring transport to gain access to tourism, or the tourist, enjoying transport as an intentionally purchased tourism product. It is suggested that transport can be a component of positive utility in the tourist experience, even when it is simply a means of accessing a destination. Thus, transport can enhance the tourist experience regardless of its role.
Implications for transport design, marketing and management are outlined. It is suggested that transport managers need to consider ways of enhancing the positive utility of tourist transport, particularly with increasing competition on many domestic and international routes. Finally, suggestions for future research are discussed. In particular, the authors point to the need for further empirical work to test the proposed conceptual framework within different transport and tourism contexts.
Halsall, D.A. (Ed.) (1982) Transport for recreation. Ormskirk: Transport Geography Study Group, Institute of British Geographers.
Lumsdon, L. and Page, S.J. (Eds.) (2004) Tourism and Transport: Issues and Agenda for the New Millennium. London: Elsevier.
Robbins, D. (2003) Public transport as a tourist attraction. In, Fyall, A. (Ed.) Managing Tourist Attractions: New Directions (pp. 86-120). London: Butterworth-Heinemann.
Association for European Transport