Transportation Management in Tourism

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Transportation Management in Tourism

The travel and tourism industry is reliant on transportation service providers on a global basis. Across business and leisure travel sectors alike, getting people from point A to point B isn’t as straightforward as it seems. As part of a wider travel product or package, customers expect and demand the highest quality transportation for the lowest possible price. Catering to all budgets while maintaining consistently high transportation standards represents an ongoing challenge for tour operators. Strategic transportation management in tourism helps ensure the right method of transport is provided at the right time and for the right price.

Explore the dynamic word of tourist transport management with this exclusive tutorial. Ideal for existing and prospective travel and tourism workers alike, topics covered include transport principles, considering various types of land transportation, the benefits of drawbacks of sea and air travel, forecasting demand, marketing, consumer protection, transport provision and the environment, common tourist transport management challenges and more.

Types, Advantages and Disadvantages of Various Modes of Transport

The transport industry has gained a vital place in the global network system and is one of the most important components of the tourism infrastructure. It now becomes easier for people to travel from one place to another because of the various modes of transportation available.

The earliest forms of transportation in the ancient times were animals on land and sails on the sea. Travel development from the need to survive, to expand and develop trade to far off countries, and the hunger to capture new lands and territories. This was followed by the use of steams and electricity in the nineteenth century followed by internal combustion engines.

Aircraft with the jet engines were introduced in the 1950s. With the development of technology, travel became faster and more and people could travel around the globe.

Since tourism involves the movement of people from their places of residence to the places of tourist attractions, every tourist has to travel to reach the places of interest. Transport is, thus, one of the major components of the tourism industry. To develop any place of tourist attraction there have to be proper, efficient, and safe modes of transportation.

Transportation is vital to tourism. Studies have shown that tourists spend almost 30 to 40 percent of their total holiday expenditure on transportation and the remaining on food, accommodation, and other activities. This aspect once again highlights the importance of transportation.

A tourist can travel by a variety of means. The tourism professional, as well as tourist, should be aware of the various modes of transport available to reach the destination and at the destination.

The various mode of transport can be broadly divided into the following three categories:

Air transport Land transport Water transport

Air Transport

Due to the growth of air transport in recent years, long-distance travel has become much simpler and affordable. Distance is now measured in hours and not in kilometers. The world has indeed shrunk and becomes a small village.

The development of air transport mostly occurred after World War I and II. Commercial airlines were created for travelers. Because of increasing air traffic, the commercial sector grows rapidly. Before the World War II, Swissair already was carrying around 14-16 passenger between Zurich to London.

The first commercial service was introduced by KLM, the Dutch Airlines, in 1920 between Amsterdam and London. Commercial air travel grew mostly after World War II. More facilities were introduced and there was more comfort in travel.

Jet flights were inaugurated by Great Britain in the year 1952. In the year 1958 Pan American introduced the Boeing 707 services between Paris and New York. Due to the introduction of jet flights, the year 1959 onward saw a tremendous increase in air traffic. The concept of chartered flights was also introduced during this year.

Jumbo jets have revolutionized travel. A large number of people travel by air because of the speed, comfort, and economy in terms of time saved.

The modern era, thus, is the era of mass air travel. After road transport, air travel is the most popular mode of travel, particularly for international travel. For the business travelers, air transport is more convenient as it saves their precious time and offers a luxurious and hassle-free travel. Many airlines nowadays offer special facilities to the business tourist such as Internet on board.

There two types of airlines. These are following as:

Scheduled Chartered

Scheduled airlines operate as regular schedules. Chartered airlines or the non-scheduled airlines operate only when there is a demand, mainly during the tourist seasons. The chartered flights work out cheaper than the scheduled carriers as they are operated only when there is a high load factor. Chartered flights provide cheaper packages to the destination such as Portugal and Spain.

India receives more than 400 chartered flights, especially to Goa. Goa has a maximum number of chartered flights coming in during the months of December to January.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) regulates international air travel. IATA has more than 105 major airlines of the world as its members. IATA regulates the price of tickets on different sectors of travel in the world. The concerned government decides the domestic fares.

The airfares are normally determined on the volume and the air travel demand in an area.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is an intergovernmental organization established in the year 1945. Only the government of the country can become a member. The government has to enter into a bilateral agreement for the frequency of flights for operating commercial airlines between them.

Airlines are classified into two broad categories namely small carrier and large carrier. The small carrier also known as commuter airlines have less than 30 seats. The larger carriers, also known as major airlines fly direct routes between the major cities and seat and seat 100 to 800 passengers.

The recent boom in the aviation technology has certainly bought some new development to airlines industry. There has been a major change in the size of the aircraft.

Every year there are a growing number of new airlines being introduced. Because of the growing number of new private airlines, there is stiff competition among them. This has resulted in a considerable reduction in air fairs and has boosted the growth of air traffic. To woo and attract customers, many airlines offer cheaper promotional fares such as excursion fares, group fares, and apex fares.

Million of tonnes of cargo and mail are also handled by the air transport industry.

Road Transport

Humans travel place to place in search of food in the primitive era. They tamed animals such as the dog, ox, horse, camel, reindeer, elephants, etc. for carrying the load and traveling. After the discovery of the wheel, humans developed the cart, the chariot, and the carriage.

Until the seventeenth century, horses were used for traveling. Later on better roads were constructed and some of these roads developed into trade routes, which linked many countries. One of them is the Silk Route which was used for transporting silk from China to Persia and the Blue Gem road from Iran to Afghanistan and India.

Today, the most popular and widely used mode of road travel is the automobile or the car. Road transport is dominated by the automobile, which provides views of the landscape and the freedom to travel. Tourist often travels with their entire family for holidays.

To promote tourism, the vehicle required are coaches and tourist cars. Tourist coaches or buses are preferred for large tourist groups traveling together on a specified tour itinerary. Many tourists prefer to travel in comfort and privacy and hire cars. Cars of various makes and standards are available on a rental basis.

Tourist also uses their own motorcar when holidaying. Cars and coaches carried long distance by train facility is also available in some countries.

The car rental segment of the tourism industry is in a very advanced stage in foreign countries. The client can book a car, himself or through agents, and make it wait at the desired place at the destination. The client can then drive the car himself /herself on reaching the destination.

Rail Transport

The railway is the most economical, convenient, and popular mode of travel especially for long distance travel all over the world. The railroad was invented in the seventeenth century in Germany with wooden tracks. The first steel rail was developed in the USA during the early 1800s. The railways revolutionized transportation and mass movement of people seen in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

The broad gauge lines account for more than 55 percent of the total network and carry 85 percent of total traffic. The steam engines have been replaced by diesel and electric engines which have helped in increasing the speed. Railways have promoted tourism by introducing a special tourist train.

In Europe, the railway systems of six European countries have been clubbed to make rail travel easier for the people of Europe. A rail passenger can buy a ticket in any one country of Europe and travel through six countries. For the foreign tourists, Eurail Passes offer unlimited discounts travel in express trains for periods ranging from a week to three months. In the USA, AMTRAK operates trains.

Water Transport

Humans have been traveling through water since time immemorial and carried good and people from one place to another. The boats progressed from the simple raft with some modifications and improvement and were first used around 6000 BC.

Travel by ship was the only means for traveling overseas until the middle of the twentieth century. The Cunard Steamship Company was formed in 1838 with regular steamship services operating on the North Atlantic. During the World War I, in 1914 the operations of the steamship company had to be suspended. After the World War I, the steamship luxury liners were back to business till World War II.

After the World War II, the large luxury liners again started their operations all over the world and carried passengers and holidaymakers. Some of the linear were very large accommodating up to 1000 passengers and had facilities like swimming pools, cinema halls, shops, casino, etc.

The cruise lines are the new attraction among the tourist. The cruises are booked several months in advance for trips into the tropical and sub-tropical waters of the Hawaii, Caribbean, Mediterranean, etc. Water transport today plays two main roles in travel and tourism namely ferrying and cruising.

Modern vessels such as the wave -piercing, the hydrofoil and the hovercraft are the over the water transport and used for short distance routes.

Water transportation is also used in riverboat travel. The Mississippi River has been a popular tourist river since the first settlers came to the USA. Today, tourists enjoy two or three-day luxury trips along the river. In Europe, the Rhine, winding through the grapes growing areas of Germany, offers similar leisure tourist trips.

Motorized ferries and launches are used over rivers to transport tourists and locals, to transport vehicles, and offer facilities such as car parking, restaurants, viewing decks, etc.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Various Modes of Transport

Tourist has a wide variety of transport options available today. There are several advantages and disadvantages of all the model of transport. These are following as:

Air Transport

Direct root, high speed, quick service, social and political significance, luxurious travel are the advantages of air transportation.

High cost, jet lag, unsuitable for heavy bulk cargo, accidents always fatal, international rule to be observed are the disadvantages of air transportation.

Road Transport

Flexibility, reliable, door to door service, economical, supplements other modes of transport, quick transit for short distances are the advantages of road transport.

Slow speed, carrying capacity limited, accidents, none- AC coaches not so comfortable, comfort depends upon the conditions of roads are the disadvantages of road transport.


Long distance travel cheaper, carrying capacity large, dependable service, quicker than road transportation, ability to view scenery en route is the advantage of railways.

Inflexible, unfit to hilly regions, difficulties in rural areas, dining car facilities not always available are the disadvantage of railways.

Water Transport

Economical, carrying capacity enormously, develops international and coastal trades are the advantages of water transport.

Transportation As An Attraction

To attract customers as well as take them around an attraction, destination developers have used many forms of transport to move people around. These novel modes of transport ensure that major exhibits are viewed in a certain sequence and ensure that the crowd moves through at a reliable pace.

Overcrowding should be avoided at all costs to prevent untoward incidents and to maintain the beauty of the place. Tourist can cover the entire park in a shorter duration with the help of these modes of transport.

Transportation is the most crucial component of the tourism infrastructure. It is required not only for reaching the destination but also visiting the site and moving about at the destination. Variety in modes of transportation adds color to the overall tourism experience.

Unusual forms of transportation are also an attraction such as the cable cars in hilly terrain, the funicular railway, or jet boating. The choice of mode of transport is vast and tourists can choose a mode to suit their budget. They can opt for scheduled or non-scheduled transport such as the hiring of vehicles, boats, coaches or trains so that they can travel with their group.

Assessing transport policies for tourist mobility based on accessibility indicators - European Transport Research Review

Many Planning Support Systems (PSS) have been developed aimed at measuring and modelling accessibility, however their implementation in planning practice remains an exception. The gap between the theory and the applications of accessibility tools for planning practice proves the need to maximize the usability of accessibility instruments and measures [5].

Hull et al. [6] observed that accessibility measures are in some cases too complex, abstract, hard to comprehend and to interpret, and that accessibility indicators, even though founded on strong methodological basis, must remain sufficiently simple and intuitively meaningful to be used by professional and Public Administrations in their application. Moreover, the link with policy goals is often weak and there are still many barriers to the implementation of such tools in planning practice [7], depending on the difficulties to communicate to end-users coming from several disciplines with different languages and areas of expertise urban geographers, transport planners, and budgeting professionals) and, in some cases, with limited ability for using mathematical models.

In the attempt to develop a planning support system based on accessibility indicators for a sector that traditionally does not make extensive use of models tourist investments management), the main difficulty is to maintain, at the same time, the technical rigor and the usability of the tool for practice, seeking for good balance between scientific rigor and practical relevance for the sector.

An unique definition for accessibility cannot be found in the literature, despite the concept of accessibility has been studied extensively in different disciplines such as transportation planning, geography, urban economics [8] and also in other sectors, such as regional development and growth [9] and agricultural production [10]. Originally Hansen [11] focused on the ease of fruition of a given service spatially separated from its beneficiaries and, accordingly, defined accessibility as “the potential of opportunities in the interaction”. In fact, accessibility is often measured as the spatial impedances (time, cost, etc.) to the movement of people and the exchange of goods and services. However, the idea of considering the accessibility as a causal factor in transportation and location choice behavior came later (Burns, [12]). Nowadays, the accessibility has been widely used by transportation engineers and planners for modeling land-use and transport interactions (e.g. [13, 14]), for assessing transports plans or solving optimal location problems (see e.g. [15]).

Several taxonomies have been proposed in the literature [8, 16]; here a classification based on whether the measures of accessibility do include or not behavioral components is proposed (Table 2). Accordingly, we distinguish two clusters of accessibility measures:

1) Behavioral (or individual-based) measures, defining accessibility from a single person/activity (subjective) perspective. They include: a) the “utility-based” accessibility measures, derived from Random-Utility theory [17], according to which individuals aim at maximizing the net utility of participating in activities located in an area. They can be further classified into “activity-based” [18, 19] or “trip-based”, depending on whether they take into account the daily activity schedule and the related trip chain respectively. More recently, Le Vine et al. [20] contributed to extent the definition of accessibility by incorporating the concepts of “Perceived Activity Set”, defined as the set of out-of-home activities which they view as encompassing their potential travel needs when making decisions that structurally affect their accessibility (e.g. owning a car, a season public transport ticket). b) the “contour measures”, that define accessibility as the number of opportunities that can be accessed within a given distance or travel time, from a specific location in the study area (e.g. a station, an airport, etc.). These measures require the definition of the threshold of the maximum distance or travel time acceptable for individuals to reach the opportunities, which also vary with individuals’ preferences, taste and habits. Hence, the more the opportunities are perceived heterogeneously by individuals, the less accurate the estimated accessibility values will result. To overcome such drawback, Cascetta et al. [21] have introduced the concept of “perceived opportunities” in the definition of this type of accessibility measures. 2) Non-Behavioral (or zone-based) measures, defining accessibility from a geographical impersonal perspective, based on potential opportunities spatially scattered among the zones of the study area. They include: a) the “network-based” measures, founded on graph theory, that are based on the characterization of the topological properties of spatial networks; according to them, accessibility is directly related to the concept of the network centrality of a node [22]; b) the “gravity-based” measures, so-called according to Newton’s Universal Law of Gravitation, that define accessibility directly proportional to the number of activities/users located in the zones of the study area and inversely proportional to the generalized transport cost [11].

Table 2 Taxonomy of accessibility indicators Full size table

Accessibility to tourist attractions is mostly influenced by supply factors [23], represented by elements offered to attract tourists that may affect the perceived ease of access, such as infrastructure, services, communications, utilities and activities [24]. These include both tourist attraction functionality factors, such as staffing, car parking capacity, the presence of websites and the production of brochures [25], and facility factors, such as toilets, drinking water and picnic sites [26, 27], which may involve the choice of an attraction rather than the others [28]. Moreover, the accessibility to an attraction is affected by the quality of the transport networks to reach it [29] and the availability of alternative transport mode, e.g. train, bus, bike, etc. [30, 31].

Using the case of the Old City of Jerusalem, Israeli & Mansfeld [32] investigated the interrelations between urban tourism and transportation systems needed to support tourist activities. The study first characterized the parameters influencing the level of accessibility of tourist flows to the main tourist attractions of Jerusalem. Subsequently, it looked at the most effective strategies of transportation management to be supported by appropriate infrastructure and means of transport.

Other variables that may explain the individual differences between tourists in their evaluation of accessibility to tourist attractions are: spatial abilities, individual needs and values, and preparatory information set. Spatial ability generally consists of two aspects, geographic knowledge and way-finding ability, which may be influenced by a range of factors in relation to the demographic characteristics of the tourist [33]. Factors such as the educational level on geographic capability [34], or the age or gender on way-finding [35, 36], have an indirect influence on differences of the tourists in the evaluating process of accessibility to the tourist attractions. According to Golledge & Stimson [37], personal needs and values may affect an individual’s perceptions and, consequently, a tourist’s expectations about available activities at a given location and the decision to engage in them. Every individual has needs which arise partially from cultural values and social background which take shape from childhood, and partially from motivation factors, related to the education environment, the financial situation, the age [38] or to the research of new knowledge, adventure, enjoyment [39]. The preparatory set, which consists in a collection of prior information of tourist attractions obtained from different sources, e.g. web, newspapers, television or previous experiences [40, 41], has an influence on tourists’ perceptions of accessibility [37].

In contrast to such a large body of literature focusing on the theoretical issues of tourist accessibility, the extent to which such theory is applied into practice is questionable. In fact, only a small number of studies relates accessibility to tourism. Application on a large-scale network are mainly based on geographical information system (GIS) analysis. For example, Chhetri & Arrowsmith [42] described a GIS-based technique to measure the recreational potential of a natural tourist destination located in Australia, based on a regression modelling used to develop a set of predictors of scenic attractiveness derived from data collected via questionnaire administered to a group of university students. Kong et al. [43] studied accessibility to open spaces in the urban environment, which have an important amenity values because they offer to tourist leisure opportunities and aesthetic enjoyment. The study, using GIS and landscape metrics, was conducted in Jinan City, a 7 million inhabitants’ Chinese metropolis, where the value of urban green spaces gradually encroached upon by urban sprawl is increasingly important. Oh & Jeong [44], using the network analysis method of GIS, analyzed pedestrian accessibility to urban parks in Seoul, where the total area is fairly large compared to those in other cities around the world, but they are located in an inconvenient location in the outer areas of metropolis, so that frequent opportunities to visit them are relatively minimal.

Starting from these considerations, the contribution of this paper to the literature is to identify an accessibility-based methodology that can be efficiently applied on large-scale either from the (private) perspective of a tourist operator, to identify the suitable tourist attractions to be included in their tourist packages, or from the (public) perspective of a Public Administration, to identify areas to be further developed and where to invest in infrastructure, for tourist aims.

It is worth noting that the methodology here presented focuses on the international incoming tourist demand, consisting of the (in-hub) demand through the main airports, ports and railway stations, potentially attracted by the selected tourist sites of National and International interested identified by the Plan the UNESCO heritage sites, the Italian Capitals of Culture and the EDEN sites). However, the methodology proposed could be applied to other contexts (e.g. regions and metropolitan areas) and with respect also to other demand segments.

In general, it is possible to have different geographical scales for application of the accessibility indicators (urban, regional, national); in this paper we deal with a national spatial context, but the methodology can be easily transferred to the regional level, for example, for the assessment of the priority investments within the regional transport plans. To authors’ knowledge, the application at the national scale of an accessibility-based methodology for the assessment of tourist policies is original in the panorama of accessibility analysis.

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