It is important to understand that tourists need transport to get to their destination and then to get around the destination. All major destinations have good accessibility, with a number of alternative ways of getting to the destination. Also, in many destinations, transport is provided for residents and commuters as much as for tourists.
One of the things that’s important to most to tourists is whether or not it is easy and safe to travel around the destination. This is especially the case in major cities.
Leisure tourists – will use a variety of types of transport, including their own private cars. In countryside destinations this might be the only option. Some leisure tourists like the challenge of getting to attractions using public transport. They do not have to travel at peak times. Some destinations have transport options provided especially for tourists, such as hop on, hop off buses.
Business tourists – might use their own cars or use the most convenient form of transport to get from one place to another within the destination. Many business travellers are not likely to travel within the destination very much during their stay.
Different ages – younger travellers are more likely to have the confidence to travel by public transport and look for cheaper options. Families will tend to use their own cars, especially those with younger children, who require a lot of additional luggage. Older couples may choose a number of public and private transport options and older people are perhaps more likely to travel in groups.
Different cultures – many inbound tourists travel in coach groups. Those travelling independently might use public transport.
Products and services
- Additions to the number of ways to reach a destination will make it more accessible and add to its appeal. This can include aircraft connections, more trains or coaches to the destination or perhaps more tour operators offering tours.
- New roads/by-passes etc. which helps to access the destination will increase appeal.
- Transport providers within the destination can improve their facilities and services. This can happen in many ways, e.g. hop on, hop off buses can provide commentaries in different languages, a water taxi company can develop a new timetable, a funicular railway can be refurbished, etc.
- Local authorities can provide new car parks or provide park and ride schemes to help make the destination more manageable.
- New ways of providing transport for tourists could be developed, e.g. dropping off and picking up people walking within the destination.
- Companies could introduce ‘green transport’ within the destination.
- Different transport systems could become more co-ordinated
- Local public transport times could become available on an app.
- Each of transport providers working within the destination would promote their products and services, and any developments through their websites.
- Many of the organisations could produce printed materials which would be available from TICs and other locations.
- New routes and timetables are widely promoted to ensure that customers have the latest information.
- Major improvements or developments to transport options within destinations will be heavily promoted because these will encourage more people to visit.
- Destinations with a unique or uncommon way of getting around the destination will promote it heavily because that will be a ‘unique selling point’ for the destination.
- Most transport providers work in partnership with other organisations, such as tour operators and hotels.
- Some transport providers work in partnership with other transport organisations.
- Many developments to transport systems cannot go ahead without planning permission from local authorities or government.
- Local authorities will be very much involved in the development of transport options within the destination for which they are responsible.
- The environmental, economic and social impacts of transport within destinations need to be considered.
- Private sector transport providers need to fund developments out of profits or loans.
- Government will provide funds for major projects such as a by-pass or a new railway/bus station.
- Most transport providers obtain income only by charging fares to passengers.
- Grants and loans may be available to develop ‘green’ or more environmentally friendly transport options.
Make some notes about how transport providers in your destination can increase the appeal of the destination to different types of tourist.