Tourism, Public Transport and Sustainable Mobility

17 February 2017

This month we are publishing Tourism, Public Transport and Sustainable Mobility edited by C. Michael Hall, Diem-Trinh Le-Klähn and Yael Ram. In this post, Michael discusses the under-researched relationship between tourism and public transport and the many positives to be found in tourist use of public transport.

Tourism, Public Transport and Sustainable MobilityPublic transport is something that has become a major focus for many cities and regions in recent years. For cities, this is often connected to the need to cut traffic congestion and reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in order to meet climate change goals. For regions, especially in rural and peripheral areas, public transport is about connectivity and access, and ensuring that people who live in such places have links to shopping, services and schools. Yet tourism is hardly mentioned in any of the usual public transport literature.

In many ways this is really surprising given how visitors and tourists are often substantial users of public transport services. For example, Diem’s research in Munich, which we discuss in the book, suggested that 78.5% of tourists used public transport. In London, the figures are even more impressive, with Transport for London suggesting that 93% of inbound tourists to London use public transport. Of course, in the case of London, the underground and double-decker buses are potentially an attraction in themselves, though this is something shared with many other destinations, for example, ferries in Stockholm, trams in Melbourne and street cars in San Francisco. If you include active transport, you could also now add cycling in Copenhagen or walking the High Line in New York. However, one of the great challenges is that this data is often not collected. Public transport agencies only tend to collect from residents, while many destination management organisations don’t collect data on the type of transport that visitors use, especially once they have actually arrived at a destination.

Nevertheless, a number of cities and destinations are now starting to see great advantage in encouraging visitors to use public transport, as they do permanent residents, in order to reduce traffic congestion. For example, some Swiss cities provide free bus access for hotel guests and for airport transfer. However, there are other benefits as well; tourists get to have a more direct experience with local people and the place they are visiting, which can improve the quality of the destination experience and increase likelihood of return visitation. For many public transport systems though, there is also recognition that tourists are helping to support the maintenance of the system to the benefit of locals. In the case of some ferry services to some of the islands in Finland and Scotland, tourists are clearly important users of the system, especially in summer, and the public transport services are therefore helping to get the tourist to spend out of the main centres in such situations, while also showing tourists more of the country. There are also many benefits for a tourist in not having to drive, as they are able to see more of a destination and not have to contend with unfamiliar road signs and roads.

Given that tourists are not usually seen as a significant market by public transport companies, there clearly remains a number of challenges in encouraging tourists to use public transport in many situations. As we discuss in the book, foremost among these is high quality and up-to-date information that is easily accessible. Ideally this should also be available in languages other than that of the destination and/or be accessible by a translation service. Cost is also significant and this is not just the direct economic cost of using the service but also ease of use, travel times and the extent to which different modes of transport are coordinated so as to make connections easy.

Overall we found that tourist use of public transport at destinations can have many positives, particularly with respect to developing more sustainable cities and contributing generally to reductions in emissions from transport use. However, the real challenge is to try and encourage more tourists to use public transport for longer distance travel. In some cases this is harder for structural and design reasons, i.e. the services just don’t exist or there’s no or insufficient capacity for carrying luggage, but in some parts of the world this is beginning to change. For example, in Europe and China we are seeing the development of new high speed rail routes and in the United States and Australia these possibilities are increasingly being discussed as a focal point of economic development and as a means of reducing both air and car congestion along major routes. In addition, some countries are developing long-distance cycleways as a means of encouraging long-distance active transport.

In terms of the future we are undoubtedly going to continue to see more focus on public transport as a core part of the sustainable mobility mix, and we think public transport, economic development and destination agencies are increasingly recognising that they can work together to encourage and promote tourism. However, as well as ongoing concerns over climate change, congestion and tourist support for public services, we see the other big issue as the growth in autonomous vehicles. This is going to have enormous impacts in the future on employment in the tourist transport sector and visitor experiences, as well as on public transport provision. Uber, for example, has major interests in autonomous cars and that, combined with their disruptive impact on taxi services and public transport, is going to create a whole new set of challenges. And we can imagine that if we are doing a new edition of the book in five years’ time, rather than consider autonomous public transport at the end of the book in the futures section, we will probably have to have a separate chapter allocated to it because it will be happening now!

Tourism and TransportFor more information about this book, please see our website. If you found this interesting, you might also like Tourism and Transport by David Timothy Duval.

Tourism and Memories of Home

7 February 2017

This month we’re publishing Tourism and Memories of Home edited by Sabine Marschall. In this post, Sabine explains the inspiration behind the book and discusses the phenomenon of tourism in search of memories of home.

Tourism and Memories of HomeA few years ago, I asked my father to record his childhood memories about World War II and the family’s expulsion and flight. As a child, I witnessed my grandparents’ nostalgia; granny would always start crying when she talked about the lost home. Their longing to see the old home one more time remained unfulfilled, but as a young student, I undertook that return visit on their behalf, carefully documenting every move. The journey became one of the most memorable of my life.

Perhaps it is due to aging that I have recently become more interested in family history and reflections on my own past, including my experiences of migration and travel, my memories and sense of home. When I began to explore these issues academically, employing self-reflexivity and auto-ethnography, I was surprised to find how strongly these experiences seemed to resonate with others. Individuals from different countries and various walks of life approached me at conferences and social gatherings to share their story. I began to see patterns and realized the wider significance of these return visits home.

Globally, many people have lost their home or homeland due to warfare, political conflict or disaster; memories of the traumatic loss and the desire to return remain an important part of their identity, often passed on to their children and shaping the historical consciousness of future generations. Those who moved voluntarily visit friends and family back home; their descendants travel in pursuit of family history and search for roots; diasporic communities tour real and imagined ancestral homelands in a quest for identity and a sense of belonging; others stage homecomings and recreate homeland culture in substitute locations. Ultimately, memories of home generate a lot of travel the world over, from short local trips to long international journeys combined with other activities. Most people do not think of such journeys as tourism and many emphatically reject that label. Yet the sustained flow of such travelers has prompted tourism authorities, tour operators and academic scholars to describe, investigate and analyze these mobility patterns as distinct and significant, classifying them as ‘diasporic roots tourism’, ‘ethnic homecoming’, ‘homesick tourism’ (Heimwehtourismus), Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR) tourism, ‘personal heritage tourism’, ‘dark tourism’ and a host of related terms.

Foregrounding the role of memory, this book brings together contributors from different countries whose ethnographic case studies explore tourism in search of memories of home in a large spread of geographical and societal contexts past and present.

Tourism and the Power of OthernessTourism and SouvenirsFor more information about the book, please see our website. If you found this post interesting, you might also like Tourism and the Power of Otherness edited by David Picard and Michael A. Di Giovine and Tourism and Souvenirs edited by Jenny Cave, Lee Jolliffe and Tom Baum.


Commercial Nationalism and Tourism

2 February 2017

Last month we published Commercial Nationalism and Tourism: Selling the National Story edited by Leanne White. In this post, Leanne gives us an overview of the book.

Commercial Nationalism and TourismCommercial Nationalism and Tourism essentially reveals how particular narratives are woven to tell (and sell) a national story. By deconstructing images of the nation, the book demonstrates how national texts (such as advertising, brochures and websites) help create key archival imagery that can promote tourism and events while also shaping national identity. I’ve been interested in this topic for about 30 years, so it’s great to finally edit this volume. I am really hoping that readers will be both energised and engaged by the diverse international cases that examine commercial nationalism and how this phenomenon connects with either tourism or events.

As editor of this collaborative international body of work, I am thrilled that from the tremendous collegial work of scholars around the globe, we have produced a volume that advances the academic debate surrounding commercial nationalism and tourism. All 26 contributors have combined an applied approach with solid academic and critical analysis. I would like to thank them all, as they made this book possible. They have been wonderful to work with and always highly cooperative.

This book is timely as the highly complex relationship between commerce and the nation has attracted the interest of scholars in recent years. Commercial Nationalism and Tourism aims to demystify the various ways in which the nation is imagined by key organisers and organisations and communicated to billions around the world. While the book is aimed principally at the academic market, it also provides interesting reading to anyone who has been a tourist or attended a major event in an increasingly commercial world!

I would like to thank Channel View and the wider production team involved in seeing this book come to fruition. A special thank you must go to Commissioning Editor, Elinor Robertson, and Production Manager, Sarah Williams.

Tourism and National IdentityIf you found this interesting, you might also like Tourism and National Identity by Kalyan Bhandari. 

Heritage Tourism in China

27 January 2017

This month we published Heritage Tourism in China by Hongliang Yan. In this post, the author discusses some of the heritage sites covered in his book and the stories behind them.

Heritage Tourism in ChinaAs one of the world’s earliest civilisations, history has left much heritage for China. It is not merely the representation of the country’s past but also an important resource which supports the development of China’s tourism industry today. Heritage Tourism in China looks at the relationships between heritage and tourism in contemporary China. It uses heritage to examine the social changes of China and how history and heritage were interpreted, planned and promoted for tourist consumption.

Because of the characteristics of Chinese governance, heritage tourism planning and management are largely decided by the public sector. In recent years, with the implementation of “Economic Reform and Open Door” policies, stakeholders from other sectors have increasingly been playing some more important roles in heritage tourism. This book examines the issues from the viewpoints of policymakers and other influential stakeholders at local, regional and national levels who had interests in heritage tourism.

To help the reader to understand the link between heritage and the key issues discussed in the book, four historically important heritage sites were discussed in detail on the issues around their management, planning, interpretation and promotion for tourism, which also provides the key link between the global context of tourism and notions of modernity, identity and sustainability.

Among these sites, the Confucius temple, mansion and family cemetery in Qufu (UNESCO World Heritage Site) were selected for examination as they have embodied the core values of traditional Chinese culture and philosophy: Confucianism. Their preservation, management and also the evolution of the Confucius cult ceremony well reflected the relations between tradition and modernity in contemporary China.

Another example, Mount Tai, China’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site was also examined in the book because of its outstanding combination of beautiful natural landscape and cultural impacts and being regarded as a sacred mountain in China. The preservation and development of the site provide a good example of the governance of protected areas and the challenges to sustainability.

The heritage sites discussed in this book are symbols of Chinese civilisations and beliefs. An important focus of the discussion in this book is on how they are affected by alterations in people’s values and beliefs in China over recent decades. The book develops and applies a broad framework to assess the relationships between the planning, development and representation of heritage sites for tourist consumption and the notions of modernity, identity and sustainable development in contemporary China.

For more information about this book, please see our website. You might also be interested in Tourism in China, Tourism Research in China and Industrial Heritage Tourism.

Trans-Atlantic Dialogues on Cultural Heritage conference 2015

30 July 2015

Last week I visited Liverpool to attend the TADCH conference jointly hosted by the Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage, University of Birmingham and the Collaborative for Cultural Heritage Management and Policy, University of Illinois.

Main lounge - Adelphi Hotel

Main lounge – Adelphi Hotel

The conference venue was the main lounge of the famous Adelphi hotel, and the conference dinner was held in an exact replica of the 1st class smoking lounge on the Titanic. There were only a couple of people at the conference who were familiar to me, Mike Robinson, one of the conference hosts (and co-editor of our Tourism and Cultural Change series) and Philip F. Xie, author of the newly published Industrial Heritage Tourism, which was a popular seller at the conference. It was great to meet so many delegates from different areas; architects, archaeologists and historians among them.

Cavern Quarter

Cavern Quarter

A trip to Liverpool would not be complete without some Beatles tourism. Every bar you walked past in the Cavern Quarter had live music pounding out which created a real party atmosphere.

Though I am somewhat ashamed (as a Manchester United fan) to admit, I experienced a very pleasant and interesting tour of Anfield  – including learning why The Kop stand is so named.

The Kop

The Kop

Liverpool is probably the friendliest place I’ve ever been to and my only regret is not going on the karaoke tuk tuk I saw on my first day there! 🙂


Nieves Herrero and Sharon R. Roseman Introduce their Work on Tourism and Pilgrimages to the Edges of the World

26 June 2015

Earlier this month we published The Tourism Imaginary and Pilgrimages to the Edges of the World, edited by Nieves Herrero and Sharon R. Roseman. In this post, the editors introduce us to their work and the inspiration behind their study of the topic.

This book is focused on the emergence of tourism imaginaries associated with six land’s ends in Europe and the Americas. We argue that the European cultural designation of continental border points with terms such as land’s end or finisterre implicitly reflects a perspective of those who lived in ‘centres’ and had the power to identify and configure the spatial identities of locations framed as peripheral. The idea of ‘land’s end’ is therefore closely associated with a marginalization that is not solely geographical but more importantly political, economic and social. The diverse locations discussed in this book are currently recognized as land’s ends tourism and pilgrimage destinations. They are associated with a powerful cultural symbolism that elaborates on the idea of the ‘edge of the earth’. The cases explored here offer a valuable comparison of how distinct land’s ends emerged as central tourism and pilgrimage sites in specific geographical and historical contexts.

The Tourism Imaginary and Pilgrimages to the Edges of the WorldThe European chapters begin with three classic ocean-edge land’s ends sites: Nieves Herrero’s chapter about Cabo Fisterra in Galicia, northwestern Spain; Charles Menzies’ dealing with Finistère in Brittany, France; and Michael Ireland’s about Land’s End in Cornwall, England. These are followed by Lawrence Taylor and Maeve Hickey’s chapter about a religious ‘pilgrimage to the edge’ in Lough Derg, a lake in County Donegal in Ireland. The next chapter is Jens Kr. Steen Jacobsen’s on another well-known, established land’s end tourism point: North Cape in Norway. The final two chapters deal with two locations in the Americas: Wayne Fife and Sharon Roseman’s chapter on Cape Spear on the island of Newfoundland on Canada’s Atlantic coast and Laura Horlent and Mónica Salemme’s chapter on Tierra del Fuego in Patagonia, Argentina.

The impetus for this book emerged out of journeys, friendships, and dwelling on and near edges. The spark came from Nieves’ research on the promotion of tourism in Fisterra, Spain in the context of a growing number of pilgrims continuing the Camino to Santiago de Compostela, Spain by walking an additional 90 kilometres to this ocean-edged ‘far-western’ Finisterre. The idea for a comparative book blossomed out of scholarly exchange visits between Nieves and contributing author Mónica Salemme, and Sharon Roseman’s annual arrivals in Spain as a researcher. Nieves and Mónica criss-crossed the Atlantic Ocean between Galicia in Spain and Patagonia in Argentina. Sharon would come to Galicia annually from Newfoundland. This led to discussions about the lure of these last-stop places, these ‘ends of the earth’. The flows of tourists making pilgrimage to the ‘furthest points’ are pervasive in the places where we and the other contributing authors both do research and live. Pervasive as well are public discourses about such pilgrimage journeys, including in tourism ads evoking the lure of the extreme. When we invited others to contribute to the book, we found the same excitement about mapping the histories of these tourism imaginaries.

Nieves Herrero and Sharon Roseman

For more information on this book, please visit the book’s listing on our website here. You might also be interested in other titles in our Tourism and Cultural Change series – new and forthcoming books include Industrial Heritage Tourism by Philip Feifan Xie, Travel, Tourism and the Moving Image by Sue Beeton and Tourist Attractions by Johan R. Edelheim.

Animals and Tourism

30 May 2015

Animals and Tourism edited by Kevin Markwell was published earlier this month and offers a fascinating insight into the relationships between tourists and animals.

Photo: Brian Gilligan

Most of us can probably remember an encounter we’ve had with some kind of animal while on holiday. Maybe it was watching in amazement at a humpback whale launching its massive bulk out of the ocean or admiring a flamboyantly coloured parrot dodging the trunks of trees as it flew, unerringly, through an otherwise verdant rainforest. Perhaps it was simply an exotic looking butterfly, delicately landing on some equally exotic tropical flower in the garden of a resort you might have been staying at.

When you start to think more deeply, you soon realise that animals are incorporated into many of our tourism experiences; sometimes willingly, other times, not so willingly. They entertain us at tourist attractions such as zoos and aquaria; they provide transport at some destinations; most of us eat them as part of the local cuisine; we photograph them; we buy souvenirs that look like (or in some cases, are made from) them; and increasingly, many of us are taking our own cats and dogs with us while on holidays.

And not to forget the animals that annoy and irritate us such as mosquitoes and midges, ticks, and centipedes, and those which may present a threat to our safety – scorpions and venomous snakes as well as lions and tigers and bears. Oh my!

Animals and TourismThe book, Animals and Tourism: Understanding Diverse Relationships, emerged from a growing interest, which many scholars now share, in understanding critically the dynamics of our relationships with non-human animals. These relationships are often contradictory, ambiguous, inconsistent, and, increasingly, contested. The tourism arena is an ideal place to place these relationships under scrutiny because of the variety of relationships that exist.

I was fortunate enough to be joined in this book project by 22 well-qualified authors who contributed 16 chapters which I then organised into three themes: ethics and animal welfare, conflict, contradiction and contestation and shifting relationships. The topics that the book covers are quite varied and chapters cover issues like the ethical implications of the use of animals such as elephants and killer whales in tourism performances or as hunting targets, the paradoxes associated with eating ‘game meat’ within the context of safari tourism, conflicts between various stakeholders in bird-watching tourism, the potential of the creepy crawlies, insects and spiders as tourist attractions and the ramifications of travelling with a pet dog, among others. Case studies and examples are drawn from all over the world including Australia, Brazil, Hawaii, Papua New Guinea, Africa and the US.

Photo: Kevin Markwell

I think the book sheds light on a number of important issues. There is a tendency in tourism to think of animals as ‘products’ or ‘commodities’ that are made available for our touristic pleasure and enjoyment. The interests of the animal are often regarded very much as secondary to the interests of the paying tourist. Often tourists are unaware of these issues and in doing so, maintain a market for performing elephants or photographic opportunities with gibbons and pythons. Yet, there are also examples where tourism can play a positive role in the conservation of species and we must not lose sight of this capacity of tourism to contribute to conservation and education.

Animals and Tourism aims to make a contribution to a better understanding of the intersections of animals and tourism, but as will be made clear in the book, there is still so much more to understand!

For further information about the book please see our website.


27 February 2015

Rosemary Black, Betty Weiler and Sarah Williams

This year I got to escape the February weather in England with a trip to the Gold Coast! CAUTHE 2015 was hosted by Southern Cross University at their Beachside campus in Coolangatta. We were very happy to launch Betty Weiler and Rosemary Black’s book Tour Guiding Research at the conference. Many of our authors were in attendance and it was great to catch up with everyone as usual!

The Tour Guiding Research launch was one of many highlights, others including the welcome drinks at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary where delegates got to be up close and personal with snakes and koalas! koala

The CAUTHE conference dinner never fails to disappoint, this year there was an excellent Nutbush City Limits routine by many of the delegates and a conga to round things off!

coolangatta beach

Coolangatta Beach

As you’d expect at the Gold Coast the beaches were beautiful and only a short walk from the conference hotels. Definitely useful to clear the head the morning after the gala dinner 🙂 Next year’s conference will be hosted by the Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School in Sydney.


Peak Oil and Tourism

8 January 2015

The supply and price of oil is a constant source of discussion and scrutiny across the world. Our forthcoming title, Tourism and Oil by Susanne Becken, out later this month, is the first book to examine oil constraints and tourism. Here, Susanne discusses the current low oil prices and what this means for the world.

Oil prices have plummeted to a 5-year low. In the last six months since June 2014, the price of Brent crude has fallen from about $115 per barrel to less than $60. So, why worry about Peak Oil?

Tourism and OilAs detailed in the new book on Tourism and Oil, the supply of oil is a highly political matter, and consumer prices reflect a complex mix of actual production costs, geopolitical interests, speculation and economic policies. The fact that oil prices are presently comparatively low confirms the extreme volatility of recent years but does not mean that Peak Oil is not an issue any more. Oil resources are finite, and exploitation is getting more expensive. These are the two key messages discussed in great depth in the book in Chapter 4.

But why is oil so cheap then? The high prices – consistently over $100 per barrel for the last few years – made it economical to drill for harder-to-get resources. America in particular, through its shale gas and shale oil revolution, has increased domestic oil production substantially. At the same time, demand has slowed down due to ongoing economic weakening in a range of countries and easing growth in China. Political conflict in Libya has eased as well with positive effects on production. In sum, by the end of 2014 supply outstripped demand, leading to plummeting oil prices. In the past, and as elaborated on in the book, Saudi Arabia acted as a so-called swing state and adjusted production to maintain stable prices. However, this time Saudi Arabia decided to continue current production to maintain its market shares. Some interpret this decision as an open ‘price war’ with the USA.

One can be forgiving to think that this is all good news. In fact, the cheap oil prices provide advantages for some countries and consumers. Tourism activity is certainly a short term beneficiary for reduced transportation costs. However, Kjell Aleklett and other experts point out that undervalued oil prices are more likely to be a sign of problems to come. Most immediately, oil producing countries are feeling the pressures of reduced income. Social unrest, for example in Venezuela, is an expected consequence. Russia is in a similar position and observed carefully by the global community. Furthermore, if oil prices continue to be in the order of $60 per barrel, technologies such as fracking are simply not viable and production in the USA is likely to decrease. But more broadly, oil consumption closely correlated to economic growth, and the fact that energy demand is decreasing is a strong indication of an economic contraction. Recession and consequences such as reduced income and employment are major factors for tourism activity. People’s travel propensity is tightly tied to their economic wealth and Chapter 6 in the book discusses how oil prices interfere with travel behaviours and business profitability.

It appears that given the uncertainties around oil prices, the insights compiled in Chapter 7 of the book on low-carbon tourism are as relevant as ever, if not more. Tourism that depends less on fossil fuels is more resilient, more environmentally responsible, and cheaper in the long run.

Tourism and Climate ChangeFor more information on this book please see our website. You might also be interested in Susanne’s previous book with John E. Hay Tourism and Climate Change.

Book launch at the World Travel Market

14 November 2014
All three editors speaking at the launch

All three editors speaking at the launch

Last week I attended the World Travel Market in London to attend a book launch for a couple of our recent titles. Dimitrios Buhalis, one of the editors of Trends in European Tourism Planning and Organisation and European Tourism Planning and Organisation Systems, organised a launch event for the books after the Tourism Futures Forum. All three editors of the books, Carlos Costa, Emese Panyik and Dimitrios Buhalis, attended the event as well as several chapter authors.

The co-editors with some of the contributors

The co-editors with some of the contributors

The tourism planning books are key titles from our Aspects of Tourism series and it was a great opportunity to showcase the books to a new audience. Two of the editors travelled from Portugal to be there and other authors came from the Czech Republic and Sweden. There were several short presentations giving the audience a taste of the book and introducing the main topics.

The Tourism Futures Forum was also an interesting opportunity to hear what industry professionals as well as leading tourism academics saw as the key trends for the future of tourism. Channel View author Ian Yeoman (author of 2050 – Tomorrow’s Tourism) whose main area of research is the future of tourism started off the forum which discussed various developments in tourism such as the use of technology on holiday, the search for ‘authenticity’ in foreign countries and businesses such as airbnb.

The Mexico stand at WTM

The Mexico stand at WTM

The World Travel Market is a key event for the travel industry and is attended by many thousands of travel professionals. All countries are represented and there are many spectacular displays exhibiting the attractions of many different destinations.

For more information about the books please see our website:
Trends in European Tourism Planning and Organisation
European Tourism Planning and Organisation Systems


Trends in European Tourism Planning and Organisation

European Tourism Planning and Organisation Systems

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