Sustainable mode of transport choices at the destination – public transport at German destinations

Sven Gross (Department of Business Studies, Harz University of Applied Sciences, Wernigerode, Germany)
Bente Grimm (Institute for Tourism Research in Northern Europe (NIT), Kiel, Germany)

Tourism Review

ISSN: 1660-5373

Publication date: 20 August 2018

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to learn more about the determinants that influence the tourists’ choice of mode of transport at the destination, and it is intended to contribute to the sustainable mobility of tourists. In line with this approach, the main emphasis is placed on public transport (PT) within the destination.

Design/methodology/approach

In addition to illustrating frequency, users and non-users of public transport were analysed. Differences in the selected influencing factors on the choice of the modes of transport are determined using the chi-square test for nominal variables, and statistical significance was determined using Kruskal–Wallis H-test for the ordinal variables.

Findings

The analysis illustrates that the most important socio-demographic determinants in public transport use are: age, household size, net household income, car availability and current professional activity. In terms of travel-orientated variables, the arrival transport means, as well as the travel duration, travel expenses and travel organisation stand out.

Research limitations/implications

Although the Reiseanalyse (RA) has been established in German tourism research for many years, the present study is not without limitations. First, the questionnaire of the RA is made up of standard questions that are (nearly) identical year after year and topic-specific questions from one or more customers. The questions used in the present analysis were, therefore, not developed specifically for this contribution. Second, the authors cannot evaluate the existing data in more detail because the data structure does not provide this. Only two variables can be related at a time. Due to financial limitations, the authors could not use the raw data. For this reason, it is not possible to perform mediator analyses or multiple predictions to check relationships between independent variables (such as income, number of cars, profession or age). In this context, it should be noted that the observed differences to the other studies cited can also be because of different methodological approaches of the individual studies. While most of the studies used for comparison include tourists from one overnight stay, this paper focuses on main holiday trips with a duration of five days and more. There are also differences in the survey itself. Most of the face-to-face surveys were conducted on site. The RA, on the other hand, takes place at home with respondents with a time delay after the holiday trip. In this context, it is particularly important to note that these results are representative for the whole of the Federal Republic of Germany, i.e. the domestic holidays of the German-speaking population living in Germany, and that they are not representative for any single city or a similar spatial unit.

Originality/value

Tourism-related mobility negatively effects all (German) destinations. Greater focus on sustainable mobility of tourists, specifically sustainable transportation, is playing an increasingly important role in science and practice. To ensure a successful reorientation, it is crucial to know which factors influence the choice of modes of transport for local tourists. Therefore, this paper analyses selected determinants influencing the choice of modes of transport for tourists. This research is based upon representative data for holiday mobility at destinations during Germans’ domestic holidays. The objective was to learn more about the determinants that influence the tourists’ choice of mode of transport at the destination, and it is intended to contribute to the sustainable mobility of tourists. In line with this approach, the main emphasis is placed on public transport (PT) within the destination.

Keywords

Citation

Sven Gross and Bente Grimm (2018) "Sustainable mode of transport choices at the destination – public transport at German destinations", Tourism Review, Vol. 73 No. 3, pp. 401-420

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DOI

: https://doi.org/10.1108/TR-11-2017-0177

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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