Improving Accessibility and Tourism Competitiveness: An Action Plan from the CONCERTOUR Project
P Cossu, M Giorgetti, FIT Consulting, IT; J Lian, E Fastad, TOI, NO; D Tsamboulas, P Moraiti, National Technical University of Athens, GR; D Carvalho, TIS, PT; F Potier, INRETS, FR; O Romosan, IMPACT, RO
Transportation plays an important role as lever for the sustainable development and competitiveness of tourism. Despite their inherent link, different motivations drive these two sectors today, and although the transportation industry provides the link between tourism generating and destination regions, the industry's role as a factor in tourism destination choice and development has not been paid the attention it requires. Transportation and tourism studies fail to provide an explicit and holistic framework in which one can find solutions for tourists? accessibilty.
The CONCERTOUR1 Action Plan is addressed to European stakeholders providing recommendations on how to improve the competitiveness of the EU/EFTA-area tourism sector through better transport solutions.
The objective of this paper is to analyse some of the key issues that arise from the Action Plan in hand, as tourism-transportation interdisciplinary approach, setting the ground for further research in this field.
The Action Plan identifies the following nine priorities to be addressed as drivers for competitiveness in tourism and accessibility to European tourist destinations: Intermodality solutions (seamless travel and promoting the use of integrated sustainable transport solutions); sufficient information available (to support planning and easy travelling); enhanced booking, ticketing and payment systems (assisting tourists in finding a good combination of best travel and price solution); adequate luggage handling and tracking systems (to make transfer in travel less strenuous). Reduce congestion and overcrowding (reducing stress, anxiety and time loss); make destinations and travel more safe, secure and attractive; better local transport infrastructure and services (matching tourist needs and improving accessibility); ?access for all? solutions (encouraging travel for tourists with special needs). Finally, the overarching policy matters relevant to stakeholders and the continued long term growth of tourism are dealt with through policy-driven priorities.
The results of the Action Plan are based on a synthesis of the research and assessments carried out by tourism and transport experts (project partners), project deliverables including aspects validated by stakeholders, and input from stakeholders? position papers.
Association for European Transport