Daytrips by Bus ? a Challenge for Cities and Tour Operators
N Klassen, D Makowiak, University of Applied Sciences Muenchen, DE
The paper presents the touristic bus market for city day trips, the driving forces for the bus market, the actual situation in German cities of bus relevant infrastructure and marketing and the future of the market and regional planning activities.
Over the last years the bus has been used for steady 10% of the trips. Although the demographic changes will or already do influence the touristic bus market, it cannot be assumed that this will always expand the bus market. Nevertheless experts believe that the bus share will grow by 2% in the next years in Germany. Beside the holiday market, day trips are very common in the bus market. 70% of the day trips are trips to cities. While the quality of hotels and other infrastructure for overnight guests has been addressed in many studies and initiatives, the day trip segment is much less researched. Only few studies exist and ? in many cities ? day trip tourism is not very much liked ? although in some areas and cities 50% of the budget spent is from day trip tourists.
To highlight and compare the different views of cities and bus operators a survey has been conducted. In a first step 84 potential cities of different size have been identified by experts due to the attractiveness for day trips and tour operator catalogues. A questionnaire has been sent out and 77% of the cities have been answered. The questions were looking at tourism demand, bus market share, relevant road and parking infrastructure for busses, information systems for busses and subsequent guiding systems for tourists, marketing activities and the perception of the cities.
In parallel interviews have been conducted with the help of the German bus operator association BDO. 10 of the 16 German regional BDO associations have been interviewed about the bus market, infrastructure in the cities, needs, driving forces and perceptional issues.
The signing and information on the city approach has been valued good. Problems are reported in the parking and terminal design, features at the terminal, capacity, the structure of parking fees and inner city issues. The communication between cities and bus operators and consequent cooperation has been valued as poor.
Although there is no ?general concept? how the infrastructure in cities for bus operators must be done, best practice concepts for different city sizes and examples of good singular measures exist in practice. To attract more day trip bus tourists and manage the bus traffic in a sustainable way, cities, operators and research should use existing best practice concepts and measures and adapt it accordingly.
Association for European Transport