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A sustainable tourism mobility passage

D.H.P. Verbeek (Based at The Netherlands Institute for Social Research (SCP), The Hague, The Netherlands)
A. Bargeman (Based at Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands)
J.T. Mommaas (Based at the Contrast Research Programme, Telos, Brabant Centre for Sustainable Development, Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands)

Tourism Review

ISSN: 1660-5373

Article publication date: 22 November 2011




The European Alpine region is an important tourism destination that at the same time faces environmental challenges. In aiming for a sustainable development of Alpine tourism, tourism boards and municipalities of 22 villages cooperate in the Alpine Pearls (AP) association. The main goal of the AP association is to develop an integrated, continuous passage for sustainable tourism mobility, which improves the possibilities for environmentally friendly travel to, between, and in the Alpine Pearls villages. This paper aims to focus on whether and how this “passage” enables tourists to travel smoothly, problem‐free and environmentally friendly to and in the Alpine region.


To analyse the Alpine Pearls holiday, the authors use a theoretical framework based on the social practices approach (SPA), which offers a contextual approach to consumption behaviour. The dynamics between travellers and providers of sustainable tourism and travel services along the passage of the Alpine Pearls holiday are the main interest. Data have been gathered through participant observation and interviews with informants.


The research points, among other things, to the fact that the creation of a passage for environmental‐friendly Alpine holidays is complicated by the nationally organised railway infrastructures and the sectorially organised tourism industry.


Evaluating sustainable tourism mobility passages on the level of holiday practices is a new contextual approach that can be of value to both tourism scholars and the tourism industry.



Verbeek, D.H.P., Bargeman, A. and Mommaas, J.T. (2011), "A sustainable tourism mobility passage", Tourism Review, Vol. 66 No. 4, pp. 45-53.



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Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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